Milwaukee – A patient who died Tuesday morning at The Rora St. Lucas Medical Center was dragged out of her room under a white sheet. A nurse battling tears, standing quietly in the hallway passing body contours – in an eight-month epidemic, one more death for not ending a sight.
“Those moments killed them,” said Jodi Gorde, a nurse manager who oversees a team of about 120 people at a Milwaukee hospital.
Ora Rora St. Luke is far from alone in the strain. Hospitals around the United States are being affected by the spread of the coronavirus, in many parts of the country that initially survived the worst.
Arriving on the eve of the election, President Trump has raised the rise in cases and blamed most of the tests. But the number of people hospitalized for the virus tells a different story, with an estimated 46 percent a month ago raising fears about the regional health care system’s ability to respond to chilling and excessive demand.
The number of eruption cases draws attention to the volatile new phase of the epidemic, while in large cities such as New York, then the Florida and Arizona, the first came after the waves hit. While the virus has begun to be brought under control in some of these places, the influx of hospital admissions is crippling some resource-poor cities.
In El Paso, where the number of hospital admissions in Covid-1 has more than tripled in the past three weeks, doctors at the University Medical Center have begun moving some patients to hospitals similar to those in San Antonio while receiving treatment in other area hospitals. Parking nearby. Around the Mexican border, the mayor of Ciudad Juarez, who himself was admitted to hospital after testing positive for the virus a second time, is urging U.S. citizens to temporarily ban him from entering his city.
Dr. Fischer, Chief Medical Officer of University Medical Center, one of the largest hospitals in the border. “We’ve never seen this in El Paso,” said Joel Hendrix. Demonstrating the need for field hospitals, Dr. Hendricks drew sharp contrast to the city’s previous growth in July, when prevention measures brought down case figures.
Dr. Hendrix’s hospital had coronavirus cases of 195 patients, compared to 30 a month earlier on Tuesday. In addition to the parking tent, El Paso officials are converting the Downtown Convention Center into a 50-bed hospital. Hundreds of health workers from other parts of Texas are deployed in El Paso, including an ambulance strike team with paramedics from the Houston area.
The front workers are tired and the situation is getting worse in states like Idaho, Missouri, New Mexico and Utah, which are struggling to find a replacement for those who test positive every day in hospitals.
At St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center in Twin Falls, Idaho, where one-third of the patients are covid-19, administrators are sending children to Boys’ Hospital two hours apart. The influx of patients from rural areas with less structured healthcare is similarly stressful in Wisconsin’s hospitals, where there has been a one percent increase in cases from two weeks ago.
Across the country, the number of cases has risen to alarmingly new levels in recent days, with the epidemic surpassing the seven-day average of 70,000 new cases for the first time. Twenty-six states are at or near the record number for new infections. More than 500,000 cases have been announced in the past week. And the number of cases in exactly zero states is steadily declining.
On a per capita basis, small towns and rural counties in the Upper Midwest and Mountain West are struggling intensely. North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Montana lead the country in new infections per capita. Of the 12 metro areas with the highest rates of new cases in the last two weeks, 10 are in North Dakota or Wisconsin.
But the lines of depressing trend are not limited to those regions. North Carolina, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia recently set a seven-day record for new cases. More big cities are starting to spiral, with frightening trends emerging in Chicago, Milwaukee and Newark.
And while the rising number of cases has not led to a dramatic increase in mortality, that trend has begun to change. There are now around 800 deaths being reported every day across the country, much lower than in the spring but slightly higher earlier this month.
Cities and towns across the country are rushing to impose new sanctions. In Idaho, Governav. Brad Little was reluctant to reopen, but the statewide mask was short of command. Mr Little said 50 people needed masks on limited indoor gatherings, long-term care facilities and new restrictions on how bars and restaurants could serve their customers.
In Newark, all notable businesses are scheduled to close at 8 p.m., starting Tuesday. A curfew has been imposed on Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, under which compulsory businesses must be closed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and bar without food will not be allowed to serve customers indoors.
In Fargo, ND, Mayor Tim Mahoney used his emergency power to pass the first mask order in the state. The mayor of Nixa, Missouri, and the mayor of Ozark imposed the mask order after appeals by nearby hospitals admitted to the coronavirus hospital.
On one of the ICU floors at Rora St. Lucas in Milwaukee, the mood worsened on Tuesday morning after doctors and nurses circled them. Out of 24 beds 20 beds were filled, and many patients were on ventilators.
But the staff put up a brave face. They gave Hallway Levy patients thumbs up, entered the room to greet others and helped a woman eat her breakfast.
Earlier in the day, the elderly woman was transferred to the ICU from the Covid-19 floor. Within 30 minutes of her arrival, loud beeping sent staff members running to her room, scattering personal safety gear.
The patient’s oxygen level dropped dangerously low, and she went into cardiac arrest. A nurse practitioner called the patient’s family, clarifying that she was unlikely to be.
A staff member pressed the woman in the hope of keeping her alive. After a while, his condition stabilized – for a moment.
She was another patient who needed such care in just three hours. When the nurses and doctors went out to take a breath, the woman lay in bed on the bed, now covered, her eyes glowing and her face pale. It was difficult to see any obvious signs of breathing.
Some staff members slapped each other on the back. Others took deep breaths. A health care worker walked out of the patient’s room, holding a small plastic bag in his hand. Inside were jewelry to give to the family, nurse manager Ms. Gorde said the woman died.
Staff members were still shocked by the death of another patient that morning. She became a favorite on the ICU team, MM Gorde said, adding that the stretcher remained silent and stood with a clear feeling of slipping past. “Bless her soul,” she murmured. “Sweet little woman.”
Staff members said they are constantly fighting fatigue. “What will happen when we can’t take care of these patients?” D Ped. Pedro Salinas, a critical care specialist, said he was concerned about how long employees could endure. “They are emotionally and mentally exhausted.”
The possibility of ending up in an overcrowded hospital ward is making some patients sick with the virus hesitant to check. Staff members at El Paso Hospital said some Covid-19 patients were coming to the emergency room so they needed to be weakened. Intuition almost immediately.
Sandra Garcia, a Sand1 resident of El Paso who tested positive for the colon virus last week, said she was suffering from fatigue, shortness of breath and loss of taste and smell, but avoided seeking care in the city’s crowded hospitals.
In the meantime, he is caring for a 13-year-old who also has Covid-19 and 5-year-old twins, all studying online from home. Ms. Garcia said he questioned El Paso’s mayor de Margo Cam for failing to order a city closure to curb the spike in the case.
“He’s just trying to get re-elected and that’s disgusting,” Ms. Garcia said.
Last week, Mr. Margo announced new restrictions such as closing the park for league and tournament games, but he said a full city closure would have to be ordered from the governor of Texas.
Nephrologist Dr. German, who cares for patients at several El Paso hospitals. German Hernandez said the situation was so severe that oxygen patients were kept in the room in the trauma area of the University Medical Center. He said the city could be catastrophic in a catastrophic event such as the Gust 2019 mass shooting at Walmart, which killed 23 people.
Dr God Hernandez said, ‘God we have another Aug Gust shooting. “We have no buffer.”
Giulia Macdonnell Nieto del Rio Report from Milwaukee, Simon Romero El Paso and Mike Baker From Seattle. Erin Kulehan Reported from El Paso, Mitch Smith From Chicago, and Lucy Tompkins From New York.