At the end of COVID-19 cases, hospitals in the Inland Empire expanded.

BARSTOW, California. (KABC) – As COVID-19 cases boom in Southern California, hospitals are experiencing pain in many ways. In the Inland Empire, as nurses in one hospital are preparing to go on strike, another hospital is nearly twice its capacity.

A nurse, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Eyewitness News that the situation at Barstow Community Hospital is critical, with many nurses suffering from the sick COVID-19 and many others suffering from an epidemic physically and emotionally.

“It’s bad. We’re completely overwhelmed and about to collapse. We need more help and we’re not getting it,” said the anonymous nurse.

Barstow Community Hospital is a 30-bed facility. But Interim CEO Suzanne Richards told Eyewitness News that the hospital is currently treating 54 patients, 47 of whom have COVID-19. Its ICU is treating 16 patients, but has only four regular beds.

The Inland County Emergency Medical Agency is prioritizing staffing requests placed with the California Department of Public Health, and Barstow Community Hospital is currently their top priority. They have supplied a hospital with at least eight additional ventilators.

Meanwhile, nurses with SEIU 121 RN have called for a 10-day strike at Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Los Angeles and West Hills Hospital’s Medical Center and Riverside Community Hospital in Riverside.

“The nurses are diluted,” said nurse Scolari, who has worked at Riverside Community Hospital for five years. “We don’t have enough staff to not let them go out of proportion; we don’t have enough staffing to be able to relax, nor do the things we need as nurses, because our mental health and fatigue are already there Is a toll. “

Nurses have cited a lack of proper personal protective equipment as a main reason for the strike, which is scheduled to begin on 24 December.

HCA Healthcare, which operates three hospitals where the strike is planned, said the strike would simply add to the demands of an already more health care system in Southern California.

A spokesperson for HCA Healthcare said that given the current COVID-19 increase and national nursing shortage, it is unreasonable that the union would urge nurses to leave bedside, and force them to sacrifice wages from many lost shifts. Will ask for “It is also surprising that SEIU 121 RN would take an action that could endanger patients, a decision that according to their own constitution and state they should make every effort to avoid.”

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