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Parkland diagnoses patients with COVID and flu at the same time

As Parkland sees a rise in COVID-19 cases following the holidays, they are starting to see some COVID-19 patients diagnosed with influenza simultaneously.

DALLAS — If anyone is feeling the impact of the latest COVID-19 surge, it's the staff at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

"We're very tired," Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joseph Chang said. "Today, we are at another high point. 187 active COVID patients, another about 30 convalescing, so about 220 in the hospital now." 

As the number of patients increase, he said more employees are also testing positive for COVID-19, causing a staffing shortage. Chang said hundreds of employees are out. 

His concern is that this rise in cases is not slowing down yet. 

"The slope on this rise has not slowed down, so I really don't know where the top of this one is going to be."

RELATED: DFW COVID updates: Parkland Hospital opens 3rd ward for coronavirus patients 

In addition, Chang said a few patients were diagnosed this week with both COVID-19 and influenza. 

"We are definitely now seeing cases where people have flu and COVID, which is something we had not seen in previous winters," said Chang. 

He said patients ill with both viruses are starting to pop up across the city. 

Chang's message to the public remains consistent since the pandemic started: "If you haven't gotten vaccinated for both of those, you want to be. That is what is going to keep you alive, keep you out of the hospital."