Inside look: San Antonio Methodist Hospital overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients

'If you want to see August 1, then maybe you should stay indoors and isolate on July 4'

SAN ANTONIO – Texas has seen unprecedented coronavirus numbers in recent weeks. July is not looking to be any better. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state is expected to see nearly 2,000 new hospitalizations per day by the middle of the month. Larger metropolitan cities like San Antonio, Houston and Dallas are beginning to see that influx already and hospitals are started to become overwhelmed with coronavirus patients-- a longstanding fear expressed by experts.

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At San Antonio Methodist Hospital, there are three specialized COVID-19 units. An inside look at the precautions shows rooms sealed off and turned into negative pressure chambers. One unit only has 14 of those rooms, all of which are occupied. Nurses and doctors told CNN reporter Miguel Marquez, there is a long waiting list of patients.

Doctor Jeffrey Dellavolpe recalled a recent shift as the worst day so far. He said he had 10 patients and only three beds available.

“They’re so sick that if they don’t get put on, if they don’t get that support, they are probably going to die,” Dellavolpe told CNN. “And just making that decision of who would benefit-- It is a level of decision-making that I don’t think a lot of us are prepared for.”

Dellavolpe says this latest surge is shutting down ideas that the virus rarely seriously effects young people. In the first wave, he said most patients were in their 50s and 60s. Now he says he’s lost track of how man patients in their 20s he has treated.

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Another COVID ward of the hospital is dedicated to expecting moms who have tested positive for COVID-19. Doctor Kelly Morales, an OB/GYN at Methodist, said up to 30% of pregnant women admitted to the hospital are testing positive but not showing symptoms. Methodist may be seeing the beginning of a nationwide increase of women with coronavirus giving birth.


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