“More and more facilities are requesting [personal protective equipment],” said Dr Shikha Gupta, executive director of Get Us PPE, a non-profit which supplies healthcare facilities with PPE, when they cannot find equipment through suppliers. “We are deeply unprepared for what that’s going to bring as hospitals reach capacity across the US with surging caseloads.”
Nursing homes, where less than 1% of Americans live but which account for 41% of Covid-19 deaths, also remain extremely vulnerable to outbreaks.
“We lack personal protective equipment, we lack comprehensive surveillance and testing, and, to be honest, a number of nursing homes still struggle with infection control,” David C Grabowski, a health policy professor at Harvard Medical School, said. “We’ve seen this play out now twice.”
Nancy Roberts, a respiratory therapist at St Luke’s, said she had seen Covid-19-positive patients come in, “and they’re on just a little bit of oxygen, and in 24 hours they could be intubated and on a ventilator, and they’re terrified.
“For somebody to not believe this is happening, it blows my mind. I cannot personally wrap my head around that,” Roberts said. ‘One death is one too many deaths from this virus.”