coronavirus chicago

As Hospitalizations Surge, Health Services Are ‘Extremely Strained,' Chicago Doctor Says

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

As the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surge in Chicago and Illinois, one doctor on the frontlines is pleading for more centralized communication to combat the virus, opposed to each state coming up with its own messaging.

"I really hope that this was a cautionary tale for our next few months and that people start reacting when they recognize that our health services are extremely strained right now," said Dr. Marina Del Rios with the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

Del Rios talked to NBC 5 Thursday after coming off an overnight shift, in which she said there were no beds to send her patients to, resulting in many people being placed in the waiting room.

Compared to October in Chicago, this month three times as many people are hospitalized, in the intensive care unit and on ventilators.

"... Much worse than anything I can remember from... April and March," the doctor said.

Del Rios said the reality is that "we've failed at large scale testing in contact tracing," and providing resources to those who need to isolate, but may not be able to because of the environment they live in.

"It's been extremely frustrating as a medical provider seeing how disjointing the messaging has been for COVID," Del Rios said. "More than anything that I can recall in my lifetime as a person and as a physician."

The Chicago doctor said she believes in the next few weeks, infections will likely turn more serious.

"We're approaching the point where we’re gonna have to start making very difficult decisions," she stated.

Contact Us