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Number of NJ COVID patients on ventilators is increasing, hospital stays are increasing

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New Jersey COVID hospital admissions continued to surge on Friday, and it appears that more patients hospitalized in the past week needed more intensive care.

The number of hospital admissions was 5,701 on Friday evening, an 80 increase from the previous day after the state health department adjusted Thursday’s number.

This corresponds to a 1.4% increase in hospital admissions. But those in intensive care were 812 on Friday night, up 4% from the previous day, and those who needed a ventilator were at 441, up 10.5% from the previous day.

While hospital admissions have increased 21% since January 2, driven in part by the proliferation of the Omicron variant, those in the intensive care unit have increased by 26% and the number of patients on ventilators has increased by 51%.

Hospitalized COVID patients in need of the most intensive care remain, far and wide, those who are not vaccinated. Hackensack Meridian Health, for example, reported on its Facebook page that of the 1,062 COVID patients its 11 hospitals treated on Wednesday, 55% were not vaccinated.

Healthcare workers attend to a COVID patient in the intensive care unit of the Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck on Jan. 5.

Even more revealing, 68% of those who received ICU care were not vaccinated, and 74% of those who needed a ventilator to breathe were not vaccinated.

At the same time, hospitals continue to see significant numbers of employees needing home isolation due to positive test results. There were 522 new cases of COVID infections among hospital workers on Friday after counting 779, 851, 767, 672 and 334 new cases daily in the previous days.

More:How to report your positive COVID test result to the NJ Health Department at home

That makes it even more of a challenge for hospitals to care for the growing number of COVID patients they admit. To strengthen hospital staff, the state is calling on strike teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

In the past 30 days, Newark University Hospital recorded the highest number of COVID infections among staff at 649.

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Next up are Hackensack University Medical Center with 503, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick with 499, St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson with 466, St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton with 415, Morristown Medical Center with 369 and Bergen New Bridge Medical Center in Paramus with 365.

To cope with this, some hospitals put administrators in support roles and postpone operations that are not required for emergencies.

More:What Steps Could Governor Murphy Take If New Jersey COVID Cases Rise?

Experts at the hearing:“Heartbreaking” Education in NJ During COVID Pandemic. DOE officials did not show up

The only benefit is that patients now admitted with COVID-19 will generally stay for a shorter period of time than during the previous waves of the pandemic, recover faster, and be less likely to die from the disease.

Nursing homes in New Jersey face a similar problem with depleted staff and an increase in cases among both patients and staff. There are currently 513 active COVID outbreaks in long-term care facilities, with 5,627 infections among residents and 8,679 among staff. As of Monday, the state will send National Guard personnel to make up for the loss of nursing home staff.

The worst outbreak was at the Woodland Behavioral and Nursing Center, formerly Andover Subacute II, in Sussex County, with 192 cases among residents, 108 cases among employees, and three deaths among residents.

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