(WDHN) — The continuing rise in COVID-19 cases and its multiple variants have put pressure on hospitals and urgent care centers.
Now, EMS departments are feeling the effects — Enterprise Rescue has seen a number of people since the omicron variant drop by to get tested.
“About 98 percent of the people that come by here to get tested are testing positive, so very few people are testing negative with it if they feel like they have a running nose or sore throat or something like that they symptoms seem to be really mild but they are testing positive with Covid,” Anthony Cole said.
Enterprise Rescue Chief Anthony Cole said the virus didn’t take it easy on his employees and although the quarantining period has been shortened, it still causes a major gap in staffing.
“We have to pay em over time because you don’t have enough people to fill the shift and that’s a bigger expense and that’s a problem all over the nation you see people trying to put out information and hire people and give them signing bonuses,” Cole said.
But limited staffing is not the only obstacle they are facing, with hospitals overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, their turnaround time has increased due to the facility lacking hospital beds.
“Our ER’s are being overwhelmed because of people just wanted to be tested or concerned they do have covid and that’s affecting our ambulances from bringing people in who had car wrecks, strokes,” said Lt. Matt Hatcher with Headland Fire and Rescue.
EMS workers say if you are experiencing mild symptoms and not having a major breathing problem or a life-threatening situation, treat yourself with over-the-counter medicine or visit a primary care facility.