By Bobeth Yates

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Holy Cross Health in Fort Lauderdale has temporarily closed its maternity ward due to staffing shortages related to COVID-19.

“Due to the COVID-19 surge, Holy Cross Health has reached critical staffing levels in Labor and Delivery. In the best interest of patient safety, the Labor and Delivery unit is on diversion until further notice. The NICU and Post-Partum remain open,” the hospital said in a statement.

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“I can’t imagine what it’s like for women who may go into labor today and they had to find out they’ll be redirected,” said Natalia Garcia.

She said it was a topic of discussion at Tuesday’s Heart and Soul Pregnancy Yoga Class in Oakland Park.

“It made me really nervous, I’m not due till March. I’m really hoping things settle down till then,” said Garcia.

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Garcia was not scheduled to deliver at Holy Cross but says she is worried and with COVID-19 cases continuing to rise many pregnant women are wondering what it means for them.

“What’s to come in the next few months in regards to staff shortages at the hospitals,” said Garcia.

Nearby hospitals including Memorial Healthcare System and Broward Health are taking on patients who had expected to deliver at Holy Cross.

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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.