Hospitals in contingency staffing mode

UW Medicine on Jan. 14 reached a record high of COVID-19 inpatients, 194, across its hospitals. The highly transmissible omicron variant is putting a significant strain on health systems nationally. 

"Our capacity strategies include caring for patients in different settings, using nurse and other care extenders, using staffing agencies and postponing non-urgent surgeries consistent with the governor's recent proclamation," said Lisa Brandenburg, president of UW Medicine hospitals and clinics. "We know that this feels different for our patients and our staff. And it's unfortunate, but it's required by this highly transmissible variant and the shortages that we're having across the country."

Brandenburg said capacity solutions are necessary to balance the staffing shortage and limit the spread of omicron.

Brandenburg also said UW Medicine emergency departments and urgent care clinics are not able to handle routine COVID-19 testing at this time, but remain ready to treat patients for emergencies.                            

COVID-19 testing resources through UW Medicine.                                                                                                                                                                                     

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