Chicago nursing assistant, her entire family battling COVID-19

Healthcare workers are feeling the strain as hospital rates due to COVID swell in the Chicago area.

On top of taking care of patients, many workers worry about getting sick themselves and many already have come down with the virus.

Illinois officials on Monday said doctors, nurses and healthcare workers are being stretched beyond their limits. One worker told FOX 32 she has grown depressed after her own struggles with COVID and the mounting caseload.

“I’ve been sick mostly all of the year,” Rosie said.

Rosie works as a nursing assistant at a hospital on Chicago’s South Side. She and her entire family are battling COVID right now. In fact, she says she has experienced flu-like symptoms at least four times this year.

“My symptoms right now: a lot of coughing, headache, I feel weak, feel like I’m gonna faint,” Rosie said.

At Monday’s daily COVID briefing, Governor JB Pritzker was especially concerned about Illinois’ increasing positivity rate and the impact on front line workers.

“Our most recent week-over-week percent increases three times what it was in early October. And our doctors, nurses, EMTs, hospital social workers and respiratory therapists are paying the price. They're exhausted, often working overtime and double shifts,” the governor said.

The good news, according to Dr. Jeffrey Kopin of Northwestern Medicine, is that the infection rate for Illinois healthcare workers is low. Dr. Kopin still advises workers to take extra precautions.

“Every hospital has infection prevention people. Follow what you’re told to do,” he said.

Dr. Kopin also says lunch breaks for healthcare workers can be dangerous because of the tendency to congregate with colleagues. He says workers must continually wear masks and socially distance.