Emergency departments at hospitals in the Knoxville area are overflowing and many health care workers are absent due to illness, and health care systems are asking for your help as they start a third year battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our communities are still in an emergency,” the hospitals said in a statement Wednesday. “Health care systems continue to be under unprecedented strain. We remain committed to delivering the medical services needed by our communities, but we need your help.
The statement was issued by Covenant Health, which includes Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge; Tennova Healthcare; University of Tennessee Medical Center; Blount Memorial Hospital; and Sweetwater Hospital Association.
“The Omicron variant is racing through East Tennessee with lightning speed, spreading easily from person to person, increasing infections and hospitalizations,” the hospitals said in their statement. “This year. we are also seeing large numbers of patients with respiratory illnesses such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), pneumonia, and post-COVID-19 complications, in addition to heart attacks, strokes, and other emergent care needs. Our emergency departments are overflowing with these cases and other medical emergencies, leading to longer-than-usual wait times as we work to deliver care to all who are counting on us.”[Read more…]