‘It’s pretty frustrating’: South Florida healthcare workers make plea amid rise in COVID-19 cases

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MIAMI (WSVN) - Healthcare workers throughout South Florida are pleading with the public to change its perception of masks and other preventative measures amid a surge of coronavirus cases throughout the state.

Dr. Dave Woolsey, an emergency room physician, shared on Tuesday what the past few days have been for him while at work.

“To be back where we started or worse, it’s pretty frustrating,” Woolsey said. “People come in with a cut on their arm, and they have COVID. People come in with a cough and shortness of breath, and they have COVID. Tummy ache? COVID. Diarrhea? COVID. Headache? COVID. There’s so much of it out there now.”

The Florida Department of Health reported on Tuesday 6,093 new cases of the virus, with 1,598 of those in Miami-Dade County, 579 in Broward County and 23 in Monroe County.

“I don’t know to what point our hospitals are going to be able to take it,” Esther Segua, a registered nurse, said. “If we keep going this way, we’re not going to make it. We’re not going to be able to stop the spread.”

The spike in cases is reflected in Miami-Dade’s hospital admissions. At last check, the county reported there are more than 1,200 COVID patients in hospital beds.

Healthcare workers said wearing a mask and practicing social distancing can stunt the virus’ spread, especially if virus carriers are asymptomatic.

“It’s got to either go through your mouth, your nose or your eyes for all intents and purposes,” Woolsey said, “and if you can protect those things and keep them six feet away from you and cover them with a mask, then the virus dies, and it doesn’t propagate, and we don’t have a problem.”

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