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GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Cone Health doctors and nurses are feeling the strain of yet another wave of COVID-19 hospitalizations. 

“Last week is in no comparison to this week,” said Sabrina Newsome, the nursing director for Moses Cone Hospital’s Emergency Department. 

There are currently 175 COVID-19 patients receiving care in the health system. One week ago there were 98. 

“It’s spiked really quickly,” Newsome said Monday. “A full list of patients coming in the front door is extremely challenging as it is. We’ve had our waiting room up to 60.” 

Patients are coming in with coughs, fevers, sore throats and shortness of breath. Some require oxygen. 

“Our biggest challenge right now is keeping people separated. If you’re coming in and you’re COVID (positive) we have special waiting areas for those patients, and we’re doing our very best to make sure that everybody’s keeping their mask on keeping themselves safe,” Newsome said.

It’s not clear when omicron cases will peak in the Triad. The staff has already adjusted to a sharp increase in patients. 

“We’re seeing patients in places we don’t normally see. We’re making additional hallway beds, anything that we can to see patients and get them in and out as quickly as we can to keep them safe,” Newsome said. 

The hospital system has travel nurses helping manage the strain on employees.  

“They’re working overtime. We have overstaffed since Friday to compensate for these volumes that are coming in through our front door,” she said. 

Hospital staff want to remind the public not to show up at the emergency department for COVID testing. Cone Health offers appointments for testing here.