FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Holy Cross Health in Fort Lauderdale has temporarily shut down its baby delivery unit due to a surge in COVID-19 cases among its staff, the hospital said.
Hospital spokesperson Christine Walker on Sunday afternoon released a statement that reads in part, “Due to the COVID-19 surge, Holy Cross Health has reached critical staffing levels in Labor and Delivery. In the best interest of patient safety, the Labor and Delivery Unit is on diversion until further notice.”
However, Walker said, the hospital’s neonatal intensive care and post-partum units will remain open.
COVID is once again placing a major strain on first responders in South Florida and throughout the U.S.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, addressed the situation during an interview with CNN’s State of the Union.
“We already know that there are reports from fire departments, from police departments in different cities that there are 10, 20, 25 and sometimes 30% of the people are ill,” he said.
Officials at Holy Cross Health did not specify when they expect the hospital’s Labor and Delivery Unit to reopen.
The hospital’s announcement comes as COVID testing sites continued to see long lines and long waits.
7News cameras on Sunday captured bumper-to-bumper traffic at Zoo Miami in Southwest Miami-Dade.
When asked how long he had to wait to get tested, patient Jesus Cobos said, “Five and a half hours. There’s more people here, definitely, than the last time that we were tested.”
At C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines, organizers created a new traffic pattern to accommodate the backup.
Broward County officials said they will be opening additional testing sites throughout the first week of January.
A newly opened testing site in Margate will operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“First time we got sick, you know, vaccinated and everything, but it happens,” said Jamie Ryan while waiting in line to get tested.
Meanwhile, Hallandale Beach officials said City Hall and the Police Lobby will be closed until further notice “due to the effects of COVID-19 on City staffing.”
Hospitalizations in Florida on Sunday reached 5,425. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That’s up more than 210 people from Saturday.
Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.
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