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Genesis Health System reacts amid hospital strain, COVID surge

Area health leaders say hospitals are seeing the largest number of COVID patients since the pandemic began.

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Hospitals around the Quad City Area remain at an all-time high of COVID patients.

It's the largest number of people since the pandemic began, according to health leaders.

The latest surge is bringing new challenges to area hospitals. 

"Very overwhelmed and very tired," Genesis Health System nurse director of critical care Jake Zisette said.

Zisette said all beds in the ICU were full, as of Jan. 14, 2022.

"In many ways, the current surge is most challenging," Zisette said.

Zisette said Genesis is seeing a growing number of people on ventilators which is the largest number since the start of the pandemic.

"We want to send that clear message that this is certainly a time of crisis," Zisette said.

Zisette said the majority of those in the ICU are suffering from COVID and are unvaccinated.

"Everyone is working truly hard to do the best they can with the patients and for each other," Zisette said. "Largely this pandemic is somewhat preventable, especially for these very sick patients."

The rush of hospital admissions is also taking a toll on the frontline workers.

"Some of it is both physical, mental and emotional," Zisette said.

Staff are being assigned to fill needs in other departments.

"That's where our number of beds in the hospital are limited, so that has caused some challenges that we're facing through," Zisette said.

Challenges at Genesis also include being affected by the supply chain crisis. Zisette said there is enough PPE, but not other materials that are plastic-based.

"Anything such as syringes," Zisette said. 

Zisette also said Genesis is experiencing a shortage of workers.