UPLAND, Calif. — At the San Antonio Regional Hospital in Upland, patients wait outside as nearby surge tents reach capacity.

According to Dr. Sara Khan, the hospital is overrun with COVID-19 patients.

What You Need To Know

  • Southern California has reached zero percent ICU bed capacity

  • Doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers are burning out as they see a post-Thanksgiving surge

  • Two-thirds of patients at San Antonio Regional Hospital are being treated for COVID-19

  • Doctor urges public to wear a mask, wash hands, maintain social distancing, and avoid family gatherings

"Our E.R. has capacity for only 52 beds," said Dr. Khan. "We are holding 47 patients who were admitted. That means — and people are still coming to the E.R. — people are sitting in chairs to be seen. People are sitting outside. We have two surge tents standing outside, they are full to capacity."

Dr. Khan has been working with patients throughout the pandemic and, like many healthcare workers watching from the front line, it's taking a toll on their mental health.

"It’s made us watch so many people die," she said. "And I think what hurts me more than anything else is that when I leave the hospital and I see people saying, 'This is not real. This is something you are making up.' I want to show them our wards."

Dr. Khan estimates the hospital is currently caring for nearly 300 patients, and about 200 are being treated for COVID-19. She shared that nurses, doctors, and healthcare workers, like herself, are burning out as the pandemic continues. 

Hospitals throughout Southern California have reached a zero percent ICU bed capacity.

Dr. Christina Ghaly with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services shared that the recent surge in the county stems from family gatherings.

“Hospitalization numbers just continue to go up, and what’s even more concerning is that we know that the hospitalization numbers that we are experiencing today are really from the surge and activity that surrounded the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Dr. Ghaly.

As another major holiday approaches, Dr. Khan worries about what that will mean for patients seeking care.

"We have no space right now," she said. "So, if the same thing was to happen to us in December and January? Just do the math. We have run out. I mean, we will run out of resources. We will run out of beds. We will run out of physicians. We will run out of nurses."

All Dr. Khan can hope for is that more people will take precautions by wearing a mask and staying six feet apart to prevent having more beds filled here.