(CBS Los Angeles)- New video released Tuesday from inside the Kaiser Permanente’s Downey and Fontana medical centers in Southern California shows the stark reality of the latest COVID-19 surge and the impact it’s having on hospitals.
The video shows patients lined up in beds in hallways and even more waiting outside while hooked up to oxygen tanks under tents.
“I’m seeing people die alone,” a healthcare worker says in the video. “I’m seeing nurses exhausted, missing their families.”
The video, released by doctors from across the state during a virtual roundtable on the pandemic, aims to encourage people to stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying home when possible.
“If people continue to gather for the upcoming holidays, we are going to cripple the hospital system,” another healthcare worker says in the video.
Greg A. Adams, the chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser Permanente spoke Tuesday outside Downey Medical Center. He said of the 278 patients currently admitted, 70% had been diagnosed with COVID-19. In the hospital’s intensive care unit, that number jumps to 95%.
“As the hospital bed count continued to dwindle, we simply will not be able to keep up if the COVID surge continues to increase,” he said.
State health officials said the current coronavirus surge being seen across California is from Thanksgiving celebrations and those that followed.
“We’re now seeing today, through the videos and the testimonies, the real impact of what’s happened post-Thanksgiving,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, said.
And when it comes to stopping the spread of the virus, the health officials again called on people to stay home and away from people as much as possible.
“We have a simple prescription that we’d like to prescribe to everybody: do not share the air,” Dr. Thomas McGinn, vice president at Dignity Health, said.
Kaiser Permanente, which operates 36 hospitals across the state, reported Tuesday that it had surpassed 100% of its usual patient capacity.