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Warnings from the frontline: B.C. healthcare workers say hospitals already filling with coronavirus patients

Last Updated Mar 23, 2020 at 11:38 am PDT

FILE (iStock Photo)

Frontline healthcare workers are pleading with you to do your part to slow the spread of COVID-19

Some healthcare workers say hospitals are preparing for the worst

On Sunday, 314 doctors signed a letter showing their support to B.C. government for stricter measures

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – We have to keep our healthcare workers safe.

Hospitals are already seeing an uptick in people with COVID-like symptoms, according to doctors and nurses on the frontlines.

The message from leaders, doctors, and pandemic experts as people on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic is you can help them right now by staying home and staying away from others.

“The numbers that we’re seeing here of confirmed cases and cases that are pending are higher than the media can tell you just because they can’t keep up,” a woman, who says she works as an emergency nurse at Surrey Memorial Hospital, said in a video posted online. “The flow is consistent.”

And she’s right — the lowest possible count of novel coronavirus cases in B.C. is in the 400s; we just don’t know how many people are walking around with the illness — sick or not. With new numbers expected today after a break in updates on Sunday those numbers are likely to see a large jump Monday.

“Please, please, stay home,” the healthcare worker pleaded.

Another young nurse writes on Facebook that people need to wake up and stay home, and that not doing so is causing serious harm and putting frontline workers at risk.

She wrote it’s frightening enough being new on the job – having just started in December – but scarier still, she said, was the number of people she’s seeing ignore please to social distance and self-isolate.

Meanwhile Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health are preparing by running airway and breathing simulations and limiting visitors to essential entry only.

Frontline workers are hoping you can help them manage a best-case pandemic scenario – all you have to do, other than stay home, is wash your hands and wait as the pros do the leg work.

On Sunday, 314 doctors signed a letter showing their support to the province for stricter measures.

“We fear for our patients and the need to make decisions about who will get the necessary equipment to survive,” it reads. “We fear for our own safety and the safety of our families.”

Canada has recorded more than 1,400 cases of COVID-19 to date, with 20 deaths related to the virus.