WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — In some parts of Florida, health care workers are being stretched thin and are short-staffed as coronavirus cases hit record levels.
"All health care workers, even the ones that are doing the best, are stressed out," said Betsy Marville, the nurse coordinator for 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest union of health care workers in the state.
Nurses and doctors are again facing exhaustion and are working overtime with the delta variant spreading rapidly.
"We thought we were through it, things were better and now it's coming back," Marville said.
For more than 25 years, Marville was an intensive care unit nurse in Palm Beach County.
"We already had a burnout problem and then we had a pandemic and I think that is realistic to say," Marville said.
Dr. Olayemi Osiyemi, an infectious disease specialist in West Palm Beach, said it's frustrating because the majority of patients are unvaccinated.
"It's going to be taxing for health care providers," Osiyemi said.
He's concerned with the growing rate of infections and many younger patients are getting sicker than last year.
"About a month ago we were seeing about 5-10 COVID patients a day," Osiyemi said. "Now, we are looking at about 60-70 patients a day in the hospital."
For those people only experiencing mild or moderate systems, Osiyemi said there are options and outpatient treatments to help manage the virus.
"We can give you monoclonal antibodies and people do respond, and that medication prevents you from ending up in the hospital," Osiyemi said.
For those treatments, people are encouraged to call an infectious disease doctor to find out about eligibility.