Fatigued hospital staffers lament latest COVID surge, beg for unvaccinated to get their shots

Carle BroMenn
Carle BroMenn(WEEK)
Published: Dec. 24, 2021 at 6:06 PM CST
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NORMAL (25 NEWS) - The spike in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the omicron variant are taking their toll on staffers at Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, one of two hospitals in the Twin-Cities nearly filled to the brim treating infected patients and people with other illnesses.

In an interview with 25 News, Carle’s leader is pleading with public to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Colleen Kannaday, president of Carle hospitals in Normal and Eureka, said employees are working extra shifts, but they can only do so much. She said they’re also tired of people dying needlessly because they are not vaccinated.

Latest health department data show 57.93% of McLean County’s population is fully vaccinated. This week, the number of people in McLean County who’ve died from COVID-19-related illnesses since the start of the pandemic reached 300.

As of Thursday, 85% of all intensive care unit beds and 93% of all hospital beds were filled at BroMenn and OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington, according to health department data.

Kannaday said other hospitals call daily asking BroMenn to accept more transfer patients.

With Omicron spreading, Kannaday said health care workers are pleading for everyone to protect themselves.

“Staff are tired and I think that’s our plea, and truly I would say it’s a plea at this point, is to really really really ask everybody out there to get vaccinated,” Kannaday said.

During the holidays, Kannaday said her staff urges people to consider home testing before gatherings, and consider celebrating in smaller-group settings.

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