COVID-19 sidelines hospital employees across US: 5 things to know

The most recent COVID-19 surge amid the spread of the omicron variant has sidelined healthcare workers for reasons related to the coronavirus.

Five things to know:

1. The omicron and delta variants have increased COVID-19 cases significantly. The U.S. reported more than 489,000 new cases Dec. 29, about double the worst days from last winter's surge, according to The New York Times database. 

2. The increase in cases is affecting Americans across the country, including healthcare workers. Esther Choo, MD, an emergency physician and professor at Portland-based Oregon Health & Science University, told CNN, "Our health system is at a very different place than we were in previous surges. This strain is so infectious that I think all of us know many, many colleagues who are currently infected or have symptoms and are under quarantine."

3. As of Dec. 30, more than 3,000 Cleveland Clinic caregivers were out with COVID-19, a spokesperson told Becker's. This represents about 4 percent of the health system's clinical and nonclinical caregivers.

4. In New York, Long Island hospitals are feeling strain as workers are out sick, according to Newsday. NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island in Mineola, N.Y., told the newspaper more than 300 of its staff were sick with COVID-19 on Jan. 1. Additionally, Stony Brook (N.Y.) Medicine reported that more than 660 employees tested positive for COVID-19 between Dec. 18 and 31, and Oceanside, N.Y.-based Mount Sinai South Nassau reported Dec. 31 that more than 200 employees were out sick.

5. As of Dec. 27, 118 employees at Tufts Medical Center in Boston were out sick with the virus, spokesperson Rhonda Mann said, according to MassLive. This number included front-line nurses and administrative workers.

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