By Team

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Holy Cross Health in Fort Lauderdale has been forced to temporarily close its maternity ward due to staffing shortages related to the latest COVID-19 surge.

“In the best interest of patient safety, the Labor and Delivery unit is on diversion until further notice,” Holy Cross spokeswoman Christine Walker said in a statement.

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The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Post-Partum units at the hospital remain open, she said.

Nearby hospitals including Memorial Healthcare System and Broward Health are taking on patients from Holy Cross in the meantime.

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The announcement from Holy Cross comes as Florida continues to shatter daily records for new COVID cases, which are most likely fueled by the omicron variant. The variant is now the dominant strain across the United States.

Since last week, there have been long lines at testing sites across South Florida and in other areas of the state.

For a list of COVID testing sites across South Florida, click here.

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(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) Team