Staff fearful to work in overcrowded hospitals as 13 patients die in single day from COVID-19 at NYC hospital

Coronavirus

NEW YORK (CNN Newsource) — More than a dozen people have died in a single New York City hospital with coronavirus-related complications.

That tragic update — coming on the pandemic’s deadliest day for the nation so far.

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Thirteen people have died at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, swamped with New Yorkers waiting in long lines to get tested for the coronavirus.

The numbers in the city are still rapidly growing — but the nation’s top infectious disease expert says studying what’s happening here could give clues to reducing infection rates in other parts of the country.

“It’s accelerating. There are other parts of the country which we need to get a better feel for what is going on.” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “And the way we do that is by increasing testing and identifying people who are infected, isolating them, getting out of circulation and then do contact tracing.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reports that early signs show stay at home measures are working.

“Social distancing, no restaurants, no nonessential workers. Yes, they are burdensome, but they way they are effective and the evidence suggests at this point they have slowed the hospitalizations,” Cuomo said.

Nationwide, some medical staff fear working in hospitals overloaded with coronavirus patients and the shortage of personal protective equipment makes their already difficult jobs even more dangerous.

“We are terrified. Everybody is terrified,” said Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, president of the New York State Nurses Association. “We feel an obligation to take care of our patients. Everybody does. But we don’t want to be sick.”

Medical personnel in New Jersey, dressed in full protective gear move dozens of residents from this nursing home after several tested positive.

And the Washington Post reports in Chicago doctors have privately discussed a do-not-resuscitate policy for infected individuals, regardless of the wishes of the patient or their family members

In Louisiana, the governor fears hospitals in New Orleans could reach capacity by the first week of April.

“This depends upon whether the curve gets flattened or the trajectory stays where it is,” said Governor John Bel Edwards.

President Donald Trump is still optimistic most of the country will be back to work soon.

“It could be we’ll do sections of our country,” Trump said. “There’s big sections of our country that are very little affected by what takes place and there are others that are heavily affected by easter we’ll have a recommendation.”

Fauci says it’s basically impossible to make that projection.

“You don’t make the timeline,” he said. “The virus makes the timeline. It doesn’t matter what you say. One week, two weeks, three weeks — you’ve got to go with what the situation on the ground is.”

The city of New York is reportedly at risk of running low on morgue space.

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