Bay Area hospital staff feels overwhelmed as COVID cases rise again

Bay Area

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KRON) – Across the state, more than 5,500 people are currently in the hospital with COVID.

That’s the highest number of hospitalizations since February and again, many doctors and nurses are feeling overwhelmed.

“Now we are back at full capacity again and nurses and doctors and respiratory therapists are exhausted. We’ve had to do double shifts, extra shifts,” Tammi Bachecki said. 

Tammi Bachecki is an ICU nurse at Kaiser in Walnut Creek where the number of COVID patients is rising, they’re seeing upwards of 35 a day.

“It’s hard because there’s just not enough resources and we just don’t have what we need to properly care for our patients who need so much more from us right now,” Bachecki said. 

In late spring, the number of patients at Kaiser in Walnut Creek was down to zero but now they’re climbing right back up to where they were when COVID first hit.

It’s a similar situation at UCSF — In late May and June, they had a number of days where there was just one patient hospitalized with COVID.

Today, 39 patients are fighting the virus there and 12 are on ventilators. 17 are in critical care.

Just before July 4th, KRON4 interviewed a UCSF nurse and the chief of emergency medicine. Both were optimistic about where the Bay Area was headed.

“When I heard we would have access to the vaccine, just the word hope flashed across my eyes,” Jason Harrison, R.N./Clinical Nurse III at UCSF Health, said. 

“Just a weight is lifted that this is not something that we have to continue to deal with. It looks like things are going to kind of hold steady and we are through the worst of this,” Dr. Maria Raven, M.D./Chief of Emergency Medicine at UCSF Medical Center, said. 

That sense of optimism has now shifted relief and hope now back to frustration and fear.

“We are only going to get out of this by working together and I know people are frustrated and they’re tired because we’ve been in this so long and they are tired of isolating and they are tired of things being closed down but it’s only going to get worse until we do what we need to do to put a stop to it,” Bachecki said. 

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