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Stories, Stats, Impacts: Wyoming Public Media is here to keep you current on the news surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Wyoming Hospital Association Urges Health Care Workers To Vaccinate For COVID-19

Hands in medical gloves holding the COVID-19 vaccine vial
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COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 hospitalizations are continually increasing. Even though the numbers aren't as high as the winter surge, some are saying this is worse.

Eric Boley, president of the Wyoming Hospital Association, said this time around hospitals are dealing with staff shortages and burnout. Hospitals are dealing with a shortage of staff due to people leaving the industry or having to quarantine for periods of time after being exposed to the virus.

Plus, during the last surge, the state was able to hire traveling nurses and doctors.

"We have less people that we could employ because they're working for traveling agencies, and there's so much demand on travelers right now that even if we could afford it, there aren't enough traveling staff people to bring in to fill all the needs are in the state either," said Boley.

He added that it doesn't look like the hospitalizations will stop increasing anytime soon. Surrounding states that have started school earlier than Wyoming are dealing with a surge of children admitted to the hospital with COVID.

"There's no capacity, there's nowhere to place them [kids] into the surrounding states, because all of their pediatric beds are full," said Boley. "So it's about the most perfect storm you could get right now...lack of staffing, high demand and then new cases with pediatric patients."

According to AARP, only 52 percent of health care staff are fully vaccinated in the state. The association is willing to provide resources to help facilities become 100 percent vaccinated whether that be incentives or education. Boley strongly urges health care workers and the public to get vaccinated, to wear a mask, and wash their hands.

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