Healthcare workers overwhelmed amid record coronavirus hospitalizations


South Dakota and Indiana are now ranked first and second, respectively, for the highest rates of coronavirus hospitalizations per capita in the country, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
As the virus rages in South Dakota, so does the debate over wearing face masks. In Rapid City, a city council meeting was held Monday to discuss a proposed mask mandate.

“It’s just a mask – wear it,” one person said at the meeting. “It’s a public health crisis. I don’t know what else to say. ”

“When did the government get to dictate what we wear? Another person asked.

Hundreds of people who were unable to attend the meeting shared their thoughts in comments online. Ultimately, the ordinance passed with a 9-1 vote and will have a second reading next Monday, CBS affiliate KELO-TV reported.

Indiana set another record. Coronavirus-related hospitalizations in the state rose from 919 on Oct. 1 to 3,460 on Tuesday, nearly quadruple in just two months, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

Scott Samlan is an emergency room doctor in Hammond, Indiana, near Chicago. CBS News first spoke to him in March.

“This is the scariest I have ever had as an emergency doctor,” Samlan said on March 31.

It was at the start of the pandemic. And now Samlan said, “It’s been nine months and we’re still there. I am emotionally and mentally tired – and physically. I think everyone is. ”

In rural Missouri, a 25-bed hospital is overwhelmed. Meanwhile, Florida became the third state to exceed one million confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Health care workers in New York hit the picket line. More than 200 nurses at Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital are on strike to demand better working conditions, CBS News York reported.

“We don’t have enough staff so we can’t take care of patients,” said Melissa Ricketts, registered nurse at the hospital.

In Michigan, Patricia and Leslie McWaters were married almost 50 years. Family members said the two were taken to the same hospital where Patricia worked as a nurse and both died at exactly 4:23 p.m. – two days before Thanksgiving.

On the COVID-19 vaccine front, members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice voted Tuesday to recommend that healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities be the first Americans to receive the vaccines.


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