WORTHINGTON — Sanford Worthington Medical Center was at 60% inpatient capacity this week, according to Executive Director Jennifer Weg on Thursday.

“Given the complexity of COVID-19, patient volumes will oftentimes fluctuate between Sanford’s major medical centers,” she said.

Earlier this week, Sanford Health in Fargo — also part of the 22-hospital Sanford Health system — was experiencing a surge of COVID-19 patients driven by the delta variant. Dr. Doug Griffin, Sanford vice president and medical officer, said “We really are in a crisis,” and noted the staffing challenge the system is experiencing. He said Sanford in Fargo could use another 200 to 300 nurses overall.

Most COVID-19 patients in Sanford’s Fargo hospitals are from the Fargo-Moorhead area, but the hospitals have taken transfer patients from western North Dakota, far into northwest Minnesota, southern Minnesota and South Dakota, Griffin said.

“Being part of an integrated health system allows us to be in constant communication with our other hospitals for extra resources to ensure patients receive the best care possible,” Weg said of Sanford Worthington. “Sanford Worthington’s specialty providers, such as inpatient hospitalists and full-time general surgeons, also allow us to accept admissions here locally from our neighboring hospitals that need a higher level of care for their patients, therefore serving as a resource for the region also.”

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Forum News Service journalist Patrick Springer contributed to this report.