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Fil-Am frontliners share experiences working round-the-clock amid COVID-19 spike in Nevada

Bev Llorente | TFC News Las Vegas, Nevada

Posted at Aug 07 2021 05:33 PM | Updated as of Aug 07 2021 05:59 PM

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Nevada reached a grim milestone on Friday, surpassing 6,000 COVID-19 deaths. All 26 of the fatalities reported in the past day are reportedly from Clark County, where Las Vegas is part of.

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak is urging residents to get vaccinated. He reinstated a statewide mask mandate that requires people to wear masks indoors in public places whether they're vaccinated or not. 

Las Vegas Fil-Ams say that the mandate makes them feel safer especially with the influx of tourists. "We are just so happy that more people are wearing masks," said resident Shannielyn Bermudez.

The White House has labeled Nevada as a high transmission state for the last month, and hospitalizations and infections remain on the rise. On Thursday alone, the silver state reported 1,135 new COVID-19 cases.

Fil-Am ICU nurse Ronnette Lanier said that they have been working round-the-clock since the recent spike in infections and this time, the patients are much younger without any underlying conditions. They're also mostly unvaccinated. 

"The other day I had 3 patient assignments, really sick ICU patients. So, almost everyday 6 to 8 nurses have been given out of ratio assignments, when normally in ICU, we only get 2. Kasi nga they require intensive care (Because they require intensive care). But now there’s a surge. We are understaffed. Some staff are sick, so we had to take more patients now," shared Lanier. "It’s really physical and emotional. It takes a toll on healthcare workers so yung morale sa workplace na yun, it’s really low because of that. (It takes a toll on healthcare workers so the morale in the workplace, it’s really low because of that).

Another Pinay nurse Judy Nalos works directly on the COVID floor. She said that the majority of their patients are also younger and unvaccinated. Nalos said, "we are seeing a lot of younger people coming in very sick. Most of them are not vaccinated; they're becoming oxygen dependent. We're having to upgrade them to the ICU. Some are getting intubated."

To date, 48% of Nevadans have been fully vaccinated. Beyond the mask mandate, Governor Sisolak assured residents that he was not imposing new gathering or capacity restrictions.