WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) – The lack of nursing staff has forced the Washington Health System to tell 911 centers Washington Hospital has exceeded maximum capacity.

According to Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Six, while the hospital beds are filling up, physical capacity is not the problem for Washington Hospital. There are not enough nurses to care for the influx of patients.

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The health system says they’re getting more COVID patients, as well as patients with other health issues.

Dr. Six says the nurses are stretched incredibly thin.

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“The last 18 months have really added an additional layer of stress and work and some folks have decided after that period of time that they need some time off, there are a few retirements that may have lasted a few years but after these 18 months, they may retire at 63 instead of 65,” he said.

The hospital says it put plans in place to expand its “flex spaces” to accommodate the high volume of patients.

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The hospital won’t turn people away, rather the advisory warns people there will be a significant delay in treatment if they try to get treated at the hospital. The advisory should last through 11 p.m. Monday but could change as the capacity is being monitored every four hours.