JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Medical experts say they are the last line of defense in this COVID-19 battle. As the weeks and months wear on hospitals continue to be strained.
Officials at the University of Mississippi Medical Center are seeing worse conditions than before, meanwhile there continues to be a shortage of nurses.
Five months into this global pandemic doctors, nurses and health care providers continue to endure grueling hours of physically demanding care. Medical experts say the battle is far from over.
A majority of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the Jackson-metro area are here at UMMC.
“A lot of the patients that we are having to hospitalize really are requiring ICU care,” said UMMC Emergency Medicine Chairman Dr. Alan Jones. “Not as many of the patients that require a little bit of oxygen or a day or two in the hospital.”
Health care providers at the hospital have also been diagnosed with the virus, putting a strain on the system as they quarantine and recover.
"We've had a number both physicians and nurses that have had COVID and that we know of, but that transmission has been in the community," said Jones.
The work is also physically and mentally difficult from regularly changing PPE to the emotional toll of caring for those in isolation who can’t have visitors during their struggle.
Jones said wearing masks, social distancing and following safety guidelines will help relieve the strain on health care workers.