WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - Coronavirus numbers are rising nationwide and we haven’t even entered the holiday season yet. Nurses across the country are speaking out, pleading for more help from the federal and local governments and desperately asking people not to give in to COVID fatigue.
The union, National Nurses United, held a virtual press conference Monday warning of catastrophic death and suffering if there is not a change in course.
“I don’t know how much longer we are going to be able to hold this. Everyone has to wear a mask. It has to happen,” said Consuelo Vargas, an emergency department nurse in Chicago.
They want the Trump administration to immediately invoke the Defense Production Act to start producing adequate amounts of P.P.E.
Locally, Erica Mitrano, who works as a cardiac nurse at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, tells FOX 5 they are each getting one N-95 mask a week when prior to COVID, those masks were thrown away immediately following any possible exposure to a dangerous disease. She’s very concerned about a possible spike in cases following Thanksgiving.
Dr. Glenn Wortmann, chief of Infectious Diseases at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, tells FOX 5, “We are noticing our numbers are going up slightly, but manageable so far. Time will tell in the next weeks and months. We have been through this in the spring and learned a lot on how to treat patients. So, we are much better prepared for any potential surge. It’s important that our community members follow public health and safety practices to best protect themselves and community members: wear a mask, practice social distancing and frequently wash your hands to help prevent spread of COVID-19.”
In Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan announced covid hospitalizations have increased more than 80 percent in the past two weeks. Doctors at Holy Cross in Silver Spring are echoing the call for people to stay home for the holidays and celebrate with immediate family.
“It’s in the hands of the public, and this holiday season is going to test us. It’s going to test us all,” said Dr. Yancy Phillips, Chief Clinical Officer for Holy Cross Hospital.