WEST COVINA, Calif. - A registered nurse in West Covina, California, is pleading with the public to 'stop being careless' as she witnesses an overwhelming amount of patients in her ICU unit during the latest COVID-19 surge. In a TikTok video posted before the holidays, Gayana Chuklansev appeared visibly shaken as she compared her hospital to a 'war zone'.
"We have no ventilators for patients. We have no sedating medications. Patients are dying like flies," she stated in her post during her shift at the West Covina hospital, which has accumulated 1.4 million views over the past few days.
"We're full. We're at max capacity. We have no resources. We have no staff," Chuklansev says while holding back tears.
Chuklansev describes the difficulties her hospital faces during this latest coronavirus surge and how the doctors are overwhelmed with patients, making it difficult to treat each person.
"We didn't sign up to watch patients die because we physically cannot help them," Chuklan explains. "So, please stop being careless. Please stay home during the holidays because it's only going to get worse."
Los Angeles County, which has recorded 40% of all COVID-19 deaths in the state, reported another 227 new deaths on Tuesday, although the new daily record included reporting from holiday backlogs. The county's public health department also confirmed its highest number of hospitalizations reported in a day, at more than 7,000 people, a nearly 1,000% increase from two months ago.
California health officials announced an extension of the December 6 lockdown restrictions for the county and 22 others in Southern California and the agricultural San Joaquin Valley. The regions have about 60% of the state's population of 40 million and also have seen COVID-19 surges since the Thanksgiving holiday that have left hospitals struggling to find beds for emergency room and intensive care unit patients.
Some hospitals have set up tents to hold ER patients, and one converted a disused cafeteria to handle patients.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.