FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – The Arkansas Department of Health has confirmed 61 new Omicron cases in the Natural state for a collective of 63 known cases. 

Kelly Hill and Lisa Myers are COVID-19 ICU nurses at Mercy Fort Smith. They’ve been on the front line for each wave for the pandemic, and at this point, they don’t know where the struggles are going to end.

“It’s been pure pain; a lot of us here have PTSD. Especially when I lost a 22-year-old to Covid who had a baby,” says Myers. 

Dr. Jennifer Dillaha with the Arkansas Department Of Health says she feels for all healthcare workers she knows have been working tirelessly battling COVID-19. 

“I personally know healthcare workers who have had to leave their jobs just for their own mental health, so we are seeing a great strain on the healthcare system,” says Dr. Dillaha. 

Dr. Dillaha says there have been 63 confirmed Omicron cases in the state, and she feels with the new variant, things are not going to get easier for frontline workers. 

“Many have reported to me that they’re frustrated because the majority of hospitalizations are people who are unvaccinated,” says Dr. Dillaha. 

Continuing what feels like an endless cycle for hospital staff. 

“They just double every day, we come in their double, and we just don’t know what to expect,” says Hill. 

Dr. Dillaha says she’s also concerned about Omicron’s effect on schools once kids get back from Christmas break.