So. Oregon hospitals continue uphill battle with Omicron surge

SOUTHERN OREGON, —As hospitals continue the uphill battle with Covid-19, healthcare workers hope they see the light at the end of the tunnel. For months, local hospitals told us, they were preparing for the worst.

As the Omicron variant surge continues, health officials say, it’s not over yet. Southern Oregon hospitals still hanging on, as the Omicron wave isn’t quite done yet. Asante says its hospitalizations range from 90 to 100 Covid patients on any given day across its three locations.

“We’re not really seeing any kind of a decrease yet from the peak that we experienced with Omicron, just a few weeks ago,” said Asante spokesperson, Lauren Van Sickle.

But there is some good news though, Asante says it’s seen a drop in the number of people coming to its collection sites for testing. Van Sickle, says this week it saw around 300 people come through the collection site. That’s compared to 450 from a few weeks prior.

“We’re hoping that’s kind of the precursor for a lower number of patients in the hospital,” said Van Sickle.

Over in Klamath County, Sky Lakes Medical Center says it’s still feeling the impact of Omicron. About a third of Sky Lakes patients overall are Covid positive. Friday morning, it was at capacity with 27 Covid patients. The number has consistently been in the twenties all week, according to spokesperson, Tom Hottman.

“It been stressful we’re headed in 3rd year of the pandemic, so we have a lot more experience can read the tea leaves to know how to handle it moving forward,” said Hottman

While the future remains uncertain, Sky Lakes is prepared if the situation gets worse.

“Leadership has been planning the what-ifs running different models in the house, if we get to some number or some case mix what do we do then, so that we are prepared and not taken by surprise if that takes place,” said Hottman.

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Jenna King is the 6pm and 11pm anchor for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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