Health & Fitness

"Thanksgiving may very well be an enormous superspreader occasion," says the Rhode Island ambulance

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Dr. Laura Forman, chief emergency medical officer at Kent Hospital in Rhode Island, told CNBC that the coronavirus pandemic has "marginalized" the state.

"Our intensive care beds in the state are almost full, our emergency rooms are full, our hospitals are filling up fast," Forman said. "We fear that Thanksgiving could be a huge super-spreading event and push us out of the hospitals and into our field hospitals here."

The positivity rate in Rhode Island is now 5.9%, according to the state Department of Health. The cases, in turn, are quickly turning to hospitalization. The beds in the intensive care unit are almost full, 87% are occupied nationwide. In a Wednesday night interview on The News with Shepard Smith, Forman stated that what she is seeing in her state now is unlike anything she has seen in her 20+ years practicing medicine in the United States.

"Our cases are growing so fast here that today we are literally planning to move morgue refrigerated trucks outside of our hospitals and field hospitals," Forman said. "It's different from anything we've seen in this country before. I'm worried about it."

According to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins data, the virus is at a terrible point across the country, killing more than a quarter of a million people and killing more than 1,700 Americans on Tuesday. It was the deadliest day in six months. Hospital admissions hit more than 76,000, another all-time high according to the Covid Tracking Project.

Forman told host Shepard Smith that the strain on health care workers caused by the pandemic was enormous and that despite PPE, they are still getting Covid-19.

"One of our greatest concerns is that we have too many sick employees and that we will be unable to staff some of our hospitals in the near future," said Forman.

Dr. Bruce Becker, Associate Professor of Behavioral Medicine and Social Sciences in the School of Public Health at Brown University, echoed Forman's concerns.

"Very few health care workers I know, mainly rescue workers, have managed to stay healthy despite taking care of many Covid patients," said Becker.

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Katherine Clark