Emergency room wait times in Denton’s hospitals are increasing to 10 hours or more, according to Denton County’s public health director, reports Fox 4 News.

The issue is, hospitals are swarmed with new COVID cases due to the new Omicron variant.

Facilities continuously run out of space in the ER as more infected people are admitted, necessitating additional resources.

According to County Health Director Matt Richardson, “Some are hours and some are multiple hours, maybe double-digit hours, in the ER waiting for a staffed bed.”

Richardson met with hospital administrators to examine overflow concerns and revealed that Denton County ICUs are also beginning to see the impacts of being understaffed.

“They reported ICU beds are harder to staff. They reported in many cases up to 20% absenteeism in their existing staff. That’s a big, big number,” the health director said.

The county is expected to receive more help from nurses assigned to the area.

Even with the shortage of other supplies, fortunately, the hospitals have managed to maintain a sufficient quantity of ventilators, says Richardson.

He also noted that, although hospitals are seeing a spike in cases, the new variant is less severe than the delta strain. “It may not make people as sick as prior variants, and I think that is good news,” said Richardson.

Steve Love of the DFW Hospital Council also mentioned in a statement that more people are treated and released for the omicron variant versus those who were admitted with delta.