With coronavirus cases surging across the country, some medical professionals are ringing alarm bells. In Bay Area hospitals, doctors and nurses are seeing more patients, but they're noticing something different about them.
Good Samaritan Hospital admitted 10 new patients to the COVID-19 ward Wednesday, part of a continuing and troubling trend across the region.
“We're back almost to the same levels that we were at in March or April,” said Chief of Nursing Officer Mark Brown. “We're still about 20% off.”
This week, members of the California Nurses Association demonstrated there, raising concerns.
“Probably the biggest one is the short staffing that we're experiencing,” said nurse Diana Rossman.
Hospital leaders say they are prepared for the rising cases. That’s because there is a key difference between the patients they are seeing now and the ones they were seeing in March and April.
“The majority of our patients are med surge or telemetry level of patient,” said Brown. “So for lack of a better word, they're more of a basic hospital admission as opposed to an acute care, ICU level admission.”
Basically, their new patients are not as sick. But they are getting infected more easily.
“We think that it's an evolutionary adaptation so that it can be more infectious, just not more deadly right now,” Brown said.
Medical experts believe the coronavirus is mutating fast to try and survive as long as possible without killing it's hosts. That's why some people aren't getting as sick.
That's also why medical experts say everyone should be wearing a mask, because it's potentially more infectious now.