'It's heartbreaking dying alone': Doctors, nurses take the place of families at COVID-19 deathbeds

Through a series of interviews done by Community Health Centers, staff detail the heavy-hearted duty they're taking on because of the heartless coronavirus.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The coronavirus has impacted every aspect of life for healthcare workers.

Duties have increased, hours have become longer and the emotional toll is heavier.

"There have been, there have been a few tears," said nurse Diane Ray.

The pandemic has forced hospitals nationwide to change their visitor policies.

No one is allowed contact with a COVID-19 patient and offer the comforts of hand-holding or simply being by their side as they fight for their life.

Instead of warm final goodbyes, families are left with a cold video screen.

"It is heartbreaking dying alone. That is just something that breaks my heart," said nurse supervisor Amanda Villamizar.

Through a series of interviews done by Community Health Centers, staff detail the heavy-hearted duty they're taking on because of a heartless virus.

"With COVID we are expected to do more and be family because family cannot be at the bedside," said nurse Amy Campbell.

Doctor Rais Vohra with the Fresno County Department of Public Health says hospitals continue to experience a high volume of patients.

On a positive note, patients with coronavirus are on the decline in the county.

Currently, only 200 with the virus are hospitalized and 48 are in the ICU.

"That is still a lot of ICU patients, but the overall number of COVID patients seem to be going down," said Vohra.

In order to lift the load put on medical staff, Vohra says people need to continue do their part and follow safety precautions.

"We are all living in difficult times and need a little grace," he said.

With Labor Day weekend just a few days away, Vohra is advising people to stay home.

He adds people should cancel all non-essential gatherings.
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