WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Local hospitals are busy with COVID cases as positive tests continue to mount in Kansas and nationwide.

“We are very, very busy,” said Dr. Thomas Moore, infectious disease specialist. “I can’t speak for everyone, but the critical care staff, they’re putting in well over 12 hours a day, sometimes 16, 18 hours.”

As part of juggling limited resources, local hospitals also remind doctors to hold off performing the procedures that can wait.

A hospital official tells KSN this is an ongoing battle, and it’s nothing new with COVID. Dr. Sheryl Beard is a chief medical officer with Ascension Via Christi.

Dr. Sheryl Beard

“Throughout each surge of the pandemic, we have worked with our medical staff and surgeons to prioritize on a case-by-case basis which procedures needed to be done immediately and which ones could be safely scheduled at a later date,” Beard said.

“Although our Wichita hospitals primarily serve acutely ill patients with immediate needs, last Friday, we once again asked our medical staff to carefully review their cases to determine whether any scheduled over the next two weeks requiring an inpatient bed could be rescheduled once the current surge passes.”

Dr. Moore says hospitals saw the delta and omicron surge coming and planned but are continuously adjusting.

“Hospitals are doing what they can. We’ve got administrators pitching in on weekends. We’ve got people coming in on their days off to help,” said Dr. Moore. “Everybody’s doing everything they can on this end.”

Dr. Moore also says they have added staff where they can.

“Going into the fall, it was clear there was going to be another problem this winter,” said Dr. Moore. “Then, you add on top of that the staffing shortages that are seen nationally. You know then you’ve got yourself a real pickle.”