Local hospitals now searching for ICU beds between St. Louis and Chicago

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ST. LOUIS – The leader of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force painted a very dire picture of the situation at area hospitals. Dr. Alex Garza said emergency rooms are getting overrun and tents are being set up to handle the flood of patients.

“You will be judged on how you handled this catastrophe.  There are no more excuses,” said Dr. Garza during an afternoon press briefing.

Dr. Garza said task force hospitals have generated a list of every hospital between St. Louis and Chicago and spend a lot of their time on the phone trying to find ICU beds.

He explained there are times when the St. Louis metro area does not have an ICU bed for a patient and has to fly them to and we have to fly them to Hannibal, Mo. or Quincy, Ill.

The latest metrics from the task force show there are 187 COVID patients in the ICU and 118 on ventilators.

Dr. Garza also said emergency rooms are saying they have stopped segregating COVID patients in the ER because there are so many patients with COVID.

He also explained the physical and mental toll it is taking on health care workers. Dr. Garza said they are leaving shifts and seeing people inside gas stations not wearing masks.

“People will be judged on how they handled this catastrophe. There is no more time for excuses,” warned Dr. Garza.

This comes as the latest numbers show a record-high number of 895 people in the hospital with COVID-19 as the region prepares for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Dr. Garza said he believes Thanksgiving will be a super spreader event. He is urging people to please stay home and protect your loved ones.

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