Hospitalizations Soar Across the U.S. Ahead Of Thanksgiving

Jam packed hospitals ahead of Thanksgiving have health officials asking the public to take COVID-19 precautions seriously.
Posted at 4:56 PM, Nov 11, 2020

As the world awaits a vaccine, the reality across this country is COVID is getting worse. The U.S. set a record for people hospitalized with the coronavirus this week at nearly 62,000, and 18 states say they are at or nearing capacity.

"There are only so many places we can put them. We've created some temporary space to have overflow. But that has been exceeded, as well," Dr. Thomas Huth, Reid Health Vice President of Medical Affairs said.

Thanksgiving now two weeks away, and health officials worry it's only going to get worse.

"Look at what happened on Memorial Day in Arizona, that's what set us off into exponential growth. Thanksgiving is Memorial Day on ultimate steroids," said Will Humble, former director of Arizona Department of Health Services.

Some medical workers, nine months into this fight, are at a breaking point. Angered by a public dropping the ball.

"It's really personal. It's really really frustrating. You think about how hard you work to take care of those people who are sick," said Connie Smith, a health worker at Milwaukee's Ascension St. Francis Hospital.

"It's crazy how they want to have football games and have big rallies and all this kind of stuff, when we're struggling. It seems like nobody cares," said Carey Elwood, a nursing assistant at Wisconsin's UW Health.

"I tell you this in all sincerity, Oklahoma. We are in trouble," said Dr. Julie Watson, chief medical officer of Oklahoma City's INTEGRIS Baptist.

Governors in hot spot states are renewing orders to wear masks and socially distance. 

"While beds still are available for patient care, staffing them has become increasingly challenging," Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa said.

Trying to pin down an outbreak running away at full speed.

"So please, please cancel the happy hours, dinner parties, sleepovers and playdates at your home," Gov. Tony Evers of Wisconsin said. "And unfortunately, with the holidays just around the corner, we recommend you plan to celebrate just with your own household."