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The omicron variant's impact on NC and Charlotte-area hospitals

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An entrance area to Atrium Health's Mercy Hospital is seen in Charlotte's Elizabeth neighborhood.

Hospitalizations in North Carolina and Mecklenburg County hit a new record last week as the omicron variant continues to spread.

Hospitalizations have topped 4,000 in recent days, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. That broke the previous record of 3,992 set in January 2021. Mecklenburg County also set a new record for hospitalizations, breaking a mark also set last January. County Public Health Director Dr. Raynard Washington says Charlotte-area hospitals are “strained but stable.”

Host Mike Collins speaks with hospital representatives to get a view of what the situation looks like at their facilities, how staff is dealing with the toll of another surge and what health-care centers need to do to prepare for potential future variants.

Guests:

Dr. Katie Passaretti - Vice president and enterprise chief epidemiologist for Atrium Health

Dr. Todd Davis - Chief physician executive at CaroMont Health

Claire Donnelly - WFAE health reporter

Correction: Claire Donnelly mistakenly said that 375 Novant Health workers were fired for not following their hospital system's vaccine policy. The correct number is 175.

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Gabe Altieri is a Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Prior to joining WFAE in 2022, he worked for WSKG Public Media in Binghamton, New York.