COVID-19 Forces Temporary Shutdown at Florida Hospital

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A South Florida hospital has temporarily closed its maternity ward due to staff-shortages related to recent outbreaks of COVID-19.

Mothers-to-be who had planned on giving birth at Holy Cross Health in Fort Lauderdale will have to find another option.

“In the best interest of patient safety, the Labor and Delivery unit is on diversion until further notice,” Holy Cross spokeswoman Christine Walker said in a statement.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Post-Partum units at the hospital remain open, she said.

Nearby hospitals including Memorial Healthcare System and Broward Health are taking on patients from Holy Cross in the meantime.

“We’ve been receiving a few of their patients and working closely with them to ensure that they get safe high-quality care,” Leah Carpenter, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Memorial, told NBC 6.

The announcement from Holy Cross comes as Florida continues to shatter daily records for new COVID cases, which are most likey fueled by the omicron variant. The variant is now the dominant strain across the United States.

Hospital employees are being heavily hit in the country’s surge in cases.

Hospitals, which the Department of Health and Human Services said reported staffing shortages last week, are among the services at the forefront of the labor shortfall.

Since last week, there have been long lines at testing site across South Florida and in other areas of the state.

Holy Cross Hospital is in Fort Lauderdale.

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