Death Toll Rising from Omicron Virus
Three more Nova Scotians have perished in the grip of COVID. That’s eleven deaths this week in Nova Scotia.
Premier Tim Houston says, “This virus has taken three more Nova Scotians, and I'm devastated for the families and friends they are leaving behind.” Houston added, "Everyone needs to take the Omicron wave seriously and work together to protect our most vulnerable Nova Scotians, our healthcare system, and communities.”
The three deaths include a woman in her 50s from the Central Health Zone, a woman in her 70s from the Northern Zone, and a man in his 70s from Eastern.
There are now 85 people in hospital, a number that continues to grow steadily in a health care system described as “maxed out.” There are still twelve people in ICU, the same number as yesterday.
Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's Chief Medical Officer of Health says, "The Omicron wave is different than those we encountered over the last two years, but there is no question that the virus is having very severe impacts on some people. Follow restrictions and get your vaccine—whether it's your first, second or booster dose."
Stretching the Limits
Some question why 85 patients would be such a burden on the health care system and Dr. Stephen Ellis put it into perspective when he told Cumberland County Council that the problem is "the hospitals are 100% full, 100% of the time."
The Member of Parliament for Cumberland Colchester says the health care system is maxed out and every new patient just adds to the burnout now experienced by health care workers.
There are currently 534 employees off work due to COVID, including those who are infected or others isolating because they were near someone who was.
In fact, the province put out a call for help to retired health care workers who those not currently working in the system.
An urgent plea calls for workers in long-term care homes where there are dramatic shortages and on-going vacancies.
Temporary, short-term, and long-term paid positions are available now.
The positions are being funded through a broad $57 million strategy to find solutions and build a larger workforce for the continuing care sector.
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