On the frontlines as hospitals buckle from COVID cases

Over 500,000 new cases were reported in the U.S. between last Wednesday and Tuesday, a nearly 22% increase, according to a Health and Human Services memo obtained by ABC News.
4:14 | 10/29/20

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Transcript for On the frontlines as hospitals buckle from COVID cases
Now we turn to the latest on the coronavirus emergency. An HHS memo shows 500,000 new cases in the U.S. Between last Wednesday and Tuesday. A nearly 22% increase. Our chief national correspondent Matt Gutman has the latest. Reporter: This morning, the frzy of the covid floor breeding unseen collateral damage. Staff fatigue. They're tired. They're exhausted. Reporter: In Utah 1 of 45 states where cases are increasing, this doctor says the caseload is becoming unsustainable. Our biggest resource limitation is health care care givers, it's the people taking care of the patients not the beds. Reporter: Yet the parade of new patients is ceaseless. For icu nurse Michele Marshall each patient's death feels personal. When I fail it's really, really hard, you know, I'm sure the doctors and everyone in the health community can relate to that, but it's just -- it doesn't get easy. Reporter: The U.S. Averaging 07,000 cases a day, hospitalizations up in 38 states including Arkansas where 14 lawmakers and the state's surgeon general have also been infected. As cases rise covid fatigue appears to be hitting the northeast. 30 people becoming infebruaried in a wedding on Long Island forcing hundreds into that wedding venue now facing fines and with cases up 39% the past two weeks Dr. Anthony Fauci warning that if guidelines aren't followed, the next few months could be worse. We have 225,000 deaths, the modeling tells us we'll get 100 or more thousand as we get into the winter. That is just something that's unacceptable. Reporter: Despite the white house task force urging the use of masks, some businesses in Utah opting out of the recommendations. Some people even calling it a hoax. What do you make of that? It's quite frankly insulting to health care care workers and scientists and I haven't been spending the last seven, eight months of my life away from my family, my kids because of a hoax. Reporter: Now, the doctor is saying masking up alone is not going to be enough to stop the onslaught of the virus. What they are quietly calling for is renewed state lockdowns. You know, labs like this process 5,000 tests a day and have had to hire new staff and covid cases ticking up so quickly that an association of hospitals here in Utah actually reportedly sent the governor here a letter saying that they are plannin to triage care basically giving the patients with the better chances of survival the best care if need be. Thanks. Let's welcome back Dr. Ashish jha, Dean of the brown university school of health. Dr. Jha, thanks for joining us again. We have this powerful covid wave running smack into covid fatigue. What's your biggest concern? My biggest concern is that we're not ready for this wave that's coming in front of us and people are tired. I think there's a lot people can do to protect themselves. Mask wearing, social distancing but eight months into the pandemic, George, this is not where we should be. It certainly is not. As we look to Europe we've seen France announcing a new lockdown, Germany announcing a new lockdown, the president there warning the deaths will increase. Is what Europe going through now our future? Yeah, they started riding about a month before we did and they didn't take action seriously and now they find themselves with no choice and this is exactly what we want to avoid, before we go into the Thanksgiving and holidays, we don't want to look into a lockdown but that's where we're headed if we don't act urgently. I guess that is the question. We heard Matt say some of the doctors on the scene are saying even wearing masks not going to be enough, lockdown is inevitable. Well, I don't know if it's I think mask wearing is certainly a critical first step. We won't make any progress without that. That has to happen. I do think we can peel back a little bit on some things. Indoor dining, bars, those will get us into trouble and we have ull back. I think we can get through it without a lockdown but it's going to be tough. Thanks for your insight. We are following a lot of other

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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