Hospitals around the country are running out of beds and staff as the number of Coronavirus patients rises.
The struggle to care for the numerous Covid-19 patients and those who have died from the virus affects states around the country. In El Paso, Texas, medical officials have turned a convention center into a Covid-19 field hospital. Now staff members are using refrigerated trailers as storage for the dead due to the lack of room in the morgues, Corky Siemaszko of NBC News reports.
Doctors and nurses in Michigan, Massachusetts, and several others are no longer working on elective surgeries to focus on the Covid-19 cases. Also, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum allows health care workers who tested positive for Covid-19, with no displaying symptoms, to continue treating Covid-19 patients because he’s run out of nurses and doctors. “At this time, our limiting factor is not beds, it’s staffing,” John Pierce, president of the Rapid City Hospital in neighboring South Dakota, said.
According to The Covid Tracking Project, there was a record of 61,964 people infected with the coronavirus that was hospitalized on Tuesday. There are 148,302 Covid-19 cases in the entire nation as of Wednesday; the previous daily high was 133,819 cases. NBC News reports that the nation’s top disease experts and an NBC News analysis of the current Covid-19 trends say the country is on track to hit 20 million cases of Covid-19 by Christmas if the virus continues to spread at this rate.
“Newly confirmed cases of the disease are running well over 100,000 per day,” Eric Yager, an expert on infectious diseases at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, said in an email to NBC News. “As we experienced early in the pandemic, an increase in infections is followed by an increase in hospitalizations and then deaths. Though clinicians have an increased understanding of the disease and ways to treat it, hospitals are at risk of being overwhelmed.”