All-Time High: Number Of Employees In Israeli Hospitals Ill With COVID-19 Soars

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There are currently about 816 doctors, nurses, nursing aides, pharmacists, social workers and other staffers in Israeli hospital ill with the coronavirus – the highest number since the pandemic began, Ynet reported.

Sheba Hospital in Tel Hashomer is at the top of the list, with 40 of its employees confirmed coronavirus carriers, followed by Hadassah Ein Kerem in Jerusalem, with 35 confirmed carriers. Next on the list are Beilinson Medical Center in Petach Tikvah and Assaf Harofeh near Tel Aviv, which both have 29 confirmed carriers.

Hadassah Hospital also has the highest number of employees currently in quarantine – 118, followed by the Galil Medical Center in Nahariya with 109 employees in quarantine – a very high number in comparison to the hospital’s size.The operation of the hospital has been affected, with one department closed until further notice.

Laniado Hospital in Netanya has 101 employees in quarantine and has also closed one of its departments. Sheba in Tel Hashomer has 79 employees in quarantine.

Despite these numbers, there’s actually been a decrease in the number of hospital employees in quarantine. There are two reasons for this: increased use of personal protective equipment since the first wave of the coronavirus and the fact that hospitals don’t always instruct employees to immediately enter quarantine in cases of possible exposure, contrary to how they acted during the first wave.

“We’re extremely stringent on use of protective wear despite the fact that it makes working more difficult,” said Prof. Ehud Grossman, Director of the Internal Medicine Department at Sheba Medical Center. “We practice iron discipline in this issue, even on a personal level, and therefore we have less staff entering quarantine. Staffers also learn from experience. We didn’t have the same level of protection during the first wave.”

Dr. Nina Avshovitz, the manager of the Internal Medicine Department in Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera, which recently was transformed into a coronavirus department, spoke about how difficult the situation has become for doctors at her hospital. “I’m the manager of an internal department since 2011 and over the years, we’ve seen all the patients, tested them and conversed with them. Today our ability to really feel the plight of our patients is extremely limited. We can’t touch the patients and they can’t touch us.”

“We don’t have our own rooms and our entire ward is set up in the corridor and service rooms. What was once the room for heating food turned into the only room where doctors can sit, and it’s extremely crowded. Our ability to teach the younger doctors, who apparently will need to deal with the wave in the winter, is limited. We’re approaching winter with the flu and the coronavirus without having received additional procedural regulations, as the situation continues to grow more and more complex.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)