Health facilities are cautioning about the stress on staff availability and resources amid rising COVID-19 cases.

Sanford Health is the latest to raise the red flag.

In the last 14 days, there were about 170 COVID patients across their facilities, according to Vice President of Clinics Dr. Todd Schaffer.

Of those patients:

  • 158 are unvaccinated — that’s about 93 percent of their total COVID patient hospitalizations
  • 44 patients are in the ICU
  • 32 of them are on ventilators

Schaffer says the burden is starting to take a toll on their system as they split resources between COVID patients and those with other medical needs.

“We see a lot of strain on our health systems from major hospitals through critical access hospitals. There’s a lot of headwinds that we’re facing whether it is COVID-19, RSV and in looking forward influenza. There’s also a lot of general medical conditions that we’re seeing as well so we’re frequently adjusting those resources and staffing that we have,” Schaffer said.

North Dakotans are being encouraged to get the shot as soon as possible to save lives and prevent serious illness or contact their primary care providers to learn more about vaccines.