SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – As COVID-19 cases continue to ride throughout Utah and the rest of the nation, concern is peaking among healthcare professionals,

Today, two of the states leading infectious disease experts, Dr. Brandon Webb from Intermountain Healthcare and Dr. Andrew Pavia from University of Utah Health and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital spoke over zoom during Intermountain COVID-19 Community Update at 1:30 p.m.

One factor going forward will be hospitals under strain.

“We have a major staff shortage in all of our hospitals,” said Pavia.

“And right now we’re experiencing a lot of staff absenteeism due to people calling in sick with COVID. And that is really putting pressure on our ability to deliver care. And that’s really what I worry about for the next 2 or three weeks,” added Pavia.

The new strain is a subvariant of Omicron, he says, and if you god COVID during the Omicron surge you might not have much protection new.

“If you were infected in December, that’s six months ago. So with a different virus, and six months having passed, your protection was pretty good in March — but it’s not so good anymore,” said Pavia.

“The latest COVID-19 variant has been linked to 40% of total coronavirus cases in the United States, a jump from 7% in April,” according to a news release.