Coronavirus striking doctors and nurses on the front lines

An ICU nurse in England who said the virus had taken the life of her aunt in Miami said she was "terrified" of returning to work.
4:08 | 03/31/20

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Transcript for Coronavirus striking doctors and nurses on the front lines
The surge in cases is being seen across the country, not just in New York City. In California, Chicago, to Detroit, to New Orleans. And the growing death toll for the health care workers. The well-known neurosurgeon, and the longtime icu nurse, both dying from the coronavirus. And hospitals in need of masks, ventilators, now even tylenol. And the church choir who thought they were keeping a safe distance. At least 45 sickened, and at least 2 reported dead. Here's Matt Gutman. Reporter: Tonight, the virus striking frontline doctors and nurses. Miami icu nurse Araceli Buendia Ilagan, who'd treated thousands of patients over three decades, on Friday dying with alarming speed. She'd mentored her niece Johanna, also an icu nurse in England. How do you feel going back to work? What does it make you think about? Well, to be honest, I'm I'm terrified for my life. Especially what happened to my aunt. Reporter: Doctor Arnold weg believes he contracted the virus when a patient coughed on him. My father is truly in the fight for his life. Reporter: The 63-year-old grandfather of six and marathon runner, he's now in intensive care for the first time as a patient. Yesterday was my parents' 38th wedding anniversary and it was the first time they couldn't spend it together. Reporter: Hospitals now reporting drastic shortages of masks and protective gear. Doctors saying they have a single mask for an entire week. A national survey found 88 percent of cities do not have an adequate supply of ppe. I have nurses that call me on a daily basis to tell me that they're scared. To tell me they don't know what to do. We didn't sign up for this. Reporter: Mary McDonald saying it's not just supplies, it's basic medication. We're out of tylenol. I don't know what I can do to save people anymore. Reporter: Tonight, California officials warning they're on the verge of a massive spike. The state with at least 5,700 cases and rising. Where is the surge in los Angeles? It's all over. The highest number of icu patients doubled. Reporter: It's taking seven days to get results. We have over 60,000 tests waiting for results. Reporter: One doctor on the front lines facing a cruel twist of fake. Jared Burks, social distancing from his own 1-year-old son, and then on Saturday, an ef-3 tornado destroying his family's I feel like the house lifted up and slammed back down. I said, god, I'm not ready to die yet. Luckily, I guess he heard me because I'm still here. Reporter: North of Seattle, the latest example of how infectious the virus can be. A choir meeting on March 10th. Tonight, 45 of the 60 who attended are sickened, at least 2 have died. This will lead to more questions about the droplets in the air. And Matt, officials are telling you they're ramping up the number of tests, and trying to improve the speed of getting results? Reporter: That's right, David. Last week, the city of L.A. Had zero tests. This week, they're doing about 2,000 a day. Next week, they hope to get it up to 10,000 a day. The medical director told us ramping up testing is pointless unless they can get the lag time to 24 hours. People are out in public, spreading the virus. Matt, thank you. And we're across the south this evening as well, cases spiking in the newest hot spots.

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