By Jeff Todd

PARKER, Colo. (CBS4) – As positive cases and hospitalizations continue to rise from COVID-19, health care workers are pleading with people to wear a mask and distance themselves to limit the spread of the virus.

“It’s extremely hard for us when people tell us the reason they got COVID was because they were at a party this weekend or because they went to go see their cousin graduate in a different state. And everyone they’re exposing because they’re positive is another patient we’ll be seeing,” said Allison Boerner, a Charge Nurse at Parker Adventist Hospital.

(credit: CBS)

On Monday, Centura Health released a public service announcement called “Let’s Have Each Other’s Back.” It’s a video that shows nurses and doctors urging people to wear a mask, socially distance, and take the virus seriously.

“Every single day we have nurses that are dressing up in PPE plastic gowns, N95 face shields, goggles, gloves and going in to help save lives of patients that are being exposed to this virus by people who are not wearing masks, who are not following proper hand washing techniques, who are not following regular social distancing guidelines,” Boerner said. “We are losing people every day from it. It’s extremely taxing and emotional for health care workers. People are dying without family members and they’re not allowed to have visitors because we’re trying to protect visitors, we’re trying to protect everyone we can.”

(credit: Centura Health)

Boerner says she’s seeing the emergency room reach its limits because COVID-19 cases are adding to common medical issues.

“It’s real and it’s scary, and it’s not fun to watch someone suffer when they have to breathe and they can’t. Putting them on oxygen and oxygen not working. Then having to put them on a ventilator and then not knowing if you’ll ever get that patient off a ventilator,” Boerner said.

The growing concern among healthcare workers is the holiday. Many are planning to forgo family gatherings. Boerner says she has 37 cousins in the Denver area, and it’s a tradition to have the entire family gather for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

(credit: Centura Health)

“Being away from family is one of the hardest sacrifices that most of us have made,” she said. “We’re sacrificing not being with our families for the holidays; being here treating people that are sick. We want to see our families and we can’t. We just need the help of other people to follow simple rules.”

Jeff Todd