Staffing shortages prominent concern as COVID-19 surges, says New Jersey hospital exec

Many New Jersey officials are voicing concerns about staffing shortages as COVID-19 surges again across the U.S., reports the North Jersey Media Group.

The one concern that will "determine what happens with this second wave is staffing," said Daniel Varga, MD, chief physician executive at Edison, N.J.-based Hackensack Meridian Health. "Remember, we're trying to run a full-service hospital as well as take care of COVID patients."

Though statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen more slowly than they did in the spring, agencies that supplied healthcare workers, often from other states, are unable to meet demand as help is needed across the U.S.

Healthcare workers are also contracting COVID-19 at higher rates due to broader community spread. About 650 employees in the Hackensack Meridian system were out sick Nov. 19, a large percentage with COVID-19, according to Dr. Varga. 

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