California hospital has 700 employees in isolation because of Covid

Hundreds of employees at one hospital in California are in self-isolation following COVID-19 exposure, amid a nationwide surge of the omicron variant, health officials said Wednesday.

The Community Medical Center in Fresno announced 717 employees would remain in their homes, following the coronavirus protocols to self-isolate, and that 690 of those staff members had tested COVID positive, FOX 26 of Fresno reported.

"This reflects how contagious the Omicron variant is to the public and how important it is to be vaccinated, wear a mask, and socially distance," Thomas Utecht, M.D., the hospital's senior vice president and system chief medical officer, told the news outlet.

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The hospitalization surge is also affecting patients as 280 of them tested positive for COVID-19, with about 71% of them unvaccinated, FOX 26 reported.

"We are being hit hard daily – from unprecedented staffing shortages to supply chain issues to the number of patients coming to our hospital," Utecht continued. "Our staff is dedicated to providing the best care possible to all our patients. We need your help now to slow the spread in our community so that they can be healthy enough to do the jobs that they love."

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California has experienced a post-holiday surge in coronavirus cases, averaging 59,604 daily news cases, the California Department of Public Health said Tuesday.

The state has confirmed 6,086,557 total COVID cases and has recorded 76,564 coronavirus-related deaths, despite a more than 80% vaccination rate for individuals 5 years and older, FOX 26 reported.

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