Short-staffed Twin Cities ERs fear super-spreader Thanksgiving

Hospital beds are running low and Minnesota doctors and nurses say they won’t be able to handle much more.

“It feels like the same story room-to-room,” said nurse Kelley Anaas. “Went to a party, went to a funeral, went to a wedding.”

“I cry a lot more than I ever used to,” Anaas said.

The weight of the latest COVID-19 surge follows Anaas home.

“This time last year, I would leave work feeling like I did my best and my best was good enough. And now, I leave work feeling like I still did my best, but it barely got everybody by.”

Like all hospitals in Minnesota right now, Anaas’ unit at Abbott Northwestern is short-staffed. Many hospitals say they are at capacity.

“Hospitals can have infinite beds, but we only have a finite number of staff to work them,” said Dr. Cameron Berg, an ER doctor.

Berg says his ER is constantly full and they’re all working extra shifts.

“If we allow Thanksgiving to be a super-spreader event that many of us fear it could be, we’re going to see the consequences of that in our healthcare system,” Berg said.

As neither Anaas or Berg will see their families on Thanksgiving, they are hoping you’ll consider doing the same.

“We’ll be there for you either way,” Berg said. “But we could be there ready and available or we could not be and I know which way I would prefer.”