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Some nurses at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg, Texas, are claiming that the conditions at a COVID-19 unit at the medical facility are unimaginably horrific, according to multiple reports.
The Hidalgo County-area hospital sits on the southern tip of the state on the U.S. border with Mexico.
What are the details?
Unnamed nurses at the hospital have gone public with allegations of the hospital’s lurid conditions within the makeshift COVID-19 ward.
A Twitter user — who identifies herself as “Nurse Sarah” — said that staffers are afraid to speak out about the conditions out of fear of losing their jobs, the Daily Mail reported Thursday.
The social media user said that dead bodies at the Hidalgo County-based hospital are often left in non-air-conditioned rooms for days at a time while ants traipse across their corpses, as well as in and out of their mouths.
At least one nurse described watching ants “crawling on [patients’] bodies and faces.” When the nurse notified their superiors, a hospital administrator reportedly responded “[The ants are] coming from the patient.”
Nurses also reportedly claimed that there is not enough personal protection equipment to go around for the staff, and that nurses are required to wear the same gown all day — even, in at least one case, when the gowns are contaminated with fecal matter.
One purported whistleblower also said that one nurse is responsible for taking care of 117 patients at any given time.
The nurses, according to the social media user, also alleged that the hospital is keeping all COVID-19 patients out of the main facility in order to continue performing revenue-generating procedures.
Hospitals are becoming ‘war zones’
In a recent statement, Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez admitted that the county’s hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.
Hidalgo County health officials have also begun storing bodies in refrigerated trucks, according to Reuters.
“We’ve got to lasso this virus, this stallion, bring the numbers back down and get control of this thing,” Cortez said. “Because our hospitals — they’re war zones, they are really struggling right now.”
Earlier in July, a nurse working her fourth consecutive 12-hour shift vouched for the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the hospital, and told the Texas Tribune that she’d seen things she will “never unsee.”
The outlet at the time reported that the COVID-19 unit was previously a hospice center that had since been transformed to house coronavirus patients.
The hospital reportedly spent $9 million converting the building into a COVID-19 unit in March amid rising cases of infection.
It wasn’t enough.
By June, the hospital was forced to appropriate a nearby rehabilitation building in order to accommodate the massive swell of cases.
Nurse Apryle Pelshaw told the Tribune that the toll is high for her and other health care workers.
“We hold it together, and I think we go out into our vehicles and cry,” she admitted at the time.
In a Monday New York Times report, hospital administrators confirmed that they have, indeed, kept their COVID-19-positive patients away from the hospital’s general population.
The Times points out that the hospital is located in an area where more than a third of families live in poverty. Half of all residents reportedly do not carry health insurance. At least 100,000 undocumented immigrants reportedly also live in the area.
The Blaze has reached out to a representative for DHR Health for comment on the allegations. A response was not given in time for publication.