A fast-rising tide of new coronavirus cases is flooding emergency rooms in parts of the United States, with some patients moved into hallways and nurses working extra shifts to keep up with the surge.Patients struggling to breathe are being placed on ventilators in emergency wards since intensive care units are full, officials say, and the near-constant care they require is overtaxing workers who also are treating more typical ER cases like chest pains, infections, and fractures.In Texas, Dr. Alison Haddock of the Baylor College of Medicine said the current situation is worse than after Hurricane Harvey, which swamped Houston with floodwaters in 2017.“I’ve never seen anything like this COVID surge,” said Haddock, who has worked in emergency rooms since 2007. “We’re doing our best, but we’re not an ICU.” Patients are waiting “hours and hours” to get admitted, she said, and the least sick people are lying in beds in halls to make room for most seriously ill.Around Seattle, which was the nation’s first hot spot for the virus that causes COVID-19, a new wave of patients is showing up at emergency departments, said nurse Mike Hastings.“What’s really frustrating from my side of it is when a patient comes into the emergency department, and is not really having symptoms of COVID, but they feel like they need that testing,” said Hastings, who works at an area hospital and is president of the Emergency Nurses Association. “Sometimes we’re not able to test them because we don’t have enough test supplies, so we’re only testing a certain set of patients.”In Florida, another state that is seeing surging case numbers, hospitals say they are in desperate need of remdesivir — a medication that has been shown to shorten average hospitalization times — to treat the coronavirus patients who are filling up beds.In response, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced 30,000 vials of the drug were being shipped to the state — enough to treat about 5,000 patients.The latest numbersCurrently, more than 3.7 million people in the country have been infected with the virus and more than 140,000 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.On Saturday, Florida reported more than 10,200 new cases of the virus and 90 additional deaths, while Missouri recorded a pandemic-high 958 new cases in one day. Arizona, which conducts periodic reviews of death certificates, reclassified 106 deaths as having been from COVID-19, bringing the number of fatalities reported Saturday to 147.On Saturday, the World Health Organization, which also tracks the virus, reported a single-day record of new infections — over 259,000 worldwide — for the second day in a row. The true toll of the pandemic is thought to be even higher, in part because of shortages in testing and shortcomings in data collection.The United States, Brazil and India top the list of cases.Florida governor says no prosecution for those not wearing masksIn Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis has resisted implementing a statewide mask mandate and said Saturday the state would not be “prosecuting people” for not wearing masks, CNN reports.When asked about the possibility of stricter face mask regulations throughout the state, DeSantis said face coverings have been advised since the state’s first phase of reopening.In the Miami area, which one expert called the epicenter of the virus last week, Miami-Dade Police will be giving citations for anyone violating the county’s mask requirement.The governor’s remarks come a day after Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert urged governors and mayors to be “as forceful as possible” to get Americans to wear face coverings.”When you’re living your life and trying to open up the country, you are going to come into contact with people. And for that reason, we know that masks are really important, and we should be using them everywhere,” he said.Stop the spread of COVID-19 To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, the CDC recommends wearing a face mask.Masks are required in public places in some states and businesses. Several major retailers have announced mask requirement policies as the nation spikes in cases in certain areas.The CDC also recommends you keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.Make sure to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.For more tips on how to stay safe, CLICK HERE.CNN contributed to this report.

A fast-rising tide of new coronavirus cases is flooding emergency rooms in parts of the United States, with some patients moved into hallways and nurses working extra shifts to keep up with the surge.

Patients struggling to breathe are being placed on ventilators in emergency wards since intensive care units are full, officials say, and the near-constant care they require is overtaxing workers who also are treating more typical ER cases like chest pains, infections, and fractures.

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In Texas, Dr. Alison Haddock of the Baylor College of Medicine said the current situation is worse than after Hurricane Harvey, which swamped Houston with floodwaters in 2017.

“I’ve never seen anything like this COVID surge,” said Haddock, who has worked in emergency rooms since 2007. “We’re doing our best, but we’re not an ICU.”

Patients are waiting “hours and hours” to get admitted, she said, and the least sick people are lying in beds in halls to make room for most seriously ill.

Around Seattle, which was the nation’s first hot spot for the virus that causes COVID-19, a new wave of patients is showing up at emergency departments, said nurse Mike Hastings.

“What’s really frustrating from my side of it is when a patient comes into the emergency department, and is not really having symptoms of COVID, but they feel like they need that testing,” said Hastings, who works at an area hospital and is president of the Emergency Nurses Association. “Sometimes we’re not able to test them because we don’t have enough test supplies, so we’re only testing a certain set of patients.”

In Florida, another state that is seeing surging case numbers, hospitals say they are in desperate need of remdesivir — a medication that has been shown to shorten average hospitalization times — to treat the coronavirus patients who are filling up beds.

In response, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced 30,000 vials of the drug were being shipped to the state — enough to treat about 5,000 patients.

The latest numbers

Currently, more than 3.7 million people in the country have been infected with the virus and more than 140,000 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

On Saturday, Florida reported more than 10,200 new cases of the virus and 90 additional deaths, while Missouri recorded a pandemic-high 958 new cases in one day. Arizona, which conducts periodic reviews of death certificates, reclassified 106 deaths as having been from COVID-19, bringing the number of fatalities reported Saturday to 147.

On Saturday, the World Health Organization, which also tracks the virus, reported a single-day record of new infections — over 259,000 worldwide — for the second day in a row. The true toll of the pandemic is thought to be even higher, in part because of shortages in testing and shortcomings in data collection.

The United States, Brazil and India top the list of cases.

Florida governor says no prosecution for those not wearing masks

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis has resisted implementing a statewide mask mandate and said Saturday the state would not be “prosecuting people” for not wearing masks, CNN reports.

When asked about the possibility of stricter face mask regulations throughout the state, DeSantis said face coverings have been advised since the state’s first phase of reopening.

In the Miami area, which one expert called the epicenter of the virus last week, Miami-Dade Police will be giving citations for anyone violating the county’s mask requirement.

The governor’s remarks come a day after Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert urged governors and mayors to be “as forceful as possible” to get Americans to wear face coverings.

“When you’re living your life and trying to open up the country, you are going to come into contact with people. And for that reason, we know that masks are really important, and we should be using them everywhere,” he said.

Stop the spread of COVID-19

To help stop the spread of the coronavirus, the CDC recommends wearing a face mask.

Masks are required in public places in some states and businesses. Several major retailers have announced mask requirement policies as the nation spikes in cases in certain areas.

The CDC also recommends you keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others.

Make sure to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

For more tips on how to stay safe, CLICK HERE.

CNN contributed to this report.

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