By Alicia Roberts

NEWARK, Del. (CBS) — As COVID-19 cases continue to spike, Delaware is warning its hospitals are running out of space. Representatives with Delaware’s largest hospital say they don’t have enough beds to treat patients, this as the First State announced the first cases of the omicron variant last Friday.

“The situation is dire,” Sharon Kurfuerst, with ChristianaCare, said. “We are juggling every single day.”

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Out of space.

“There are more people in the hospitals this year, at this time of the year, than there were last year,” Gov. John Carney said.

Delaware’s governor sounded the alarm for help Tuesday as the First State’s largest hospital, ChristianaCare, announced it is running over capacity by at least 15%. Among the patients with COVID-19, many are not vaccinated and other patients have just delayed care during the pandemic.

“There are patients receiving care in hallways because that is the only place we have to put them,” Kurfuerst said.

Carney also announced all elective surgeries will be postponed to free up hospital staff and resources.

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“Our ability to continue to provide care is, without a doubt, threatened,” Kurfuerst said.

To help with staffing issues, the National Guard will be trained as certified nursing assistants.

“At least 50 members we hope to be onboarded by mid-January so it’s not an immediate solution,” Carney said.

But with only 64% of Delaware residents fully vaccinated, officials are calling on all residents to get their shots as soon as possible to help slow the spread.

“We really need help in managing the crisis in our hospitals,” Kurfuerst said.

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Delaware’s governor added part of the problem is that they’re seeing a lot of asymptomatic spread. While he did not issue a masking requirement, he urged all residents and those visiting for the holidays to wear a mask in all public spaces.

Alicia Roberts