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Hospital Administrator In San Bernardino County: 'Things Are Bad'

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Protective face masks are being used to ward off the coronavirus. (Mladen Antonov/AFP via Getty Images)
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As President Trump was giving his press conference Sunday, announcing plans to provide federal funds to New York, Illinois and California to help slow the spread of coronavirus, we checked in with Dr. Sara Khan, chief of staff at San Antonio Regional Hospital in Upland.

Here’s what she had to say via text.

“Things are bad. We’re at 17 cases in San Bernardino County today — I think we were at five the day we last spoke [Friday 3/20]. All hospitals are facing a DIRE shortage of PPEs! (Personal Protective Equipment). We’re re-using our masks. People need to stop hoarding masks and gloves and sanitizers. If we cannot protect our health care workers on the frontline, then we’ve already lost!

Dr. Khan, who’s been at San Antonio Regional since 2008, went on to say:
“The CDC has recommended we use bandanas if we run out... imagine that. And know that if it comes to that, we still won’t abandon our patients! I’m reaching out to anyone wanting to donate PPEs to try and increase our numbers. I know my counterparts are doing the same. People need to take this seriously."

She reiterated the message from the medical community that only the most vulnerable should come to emergency rooms, and should first consult with their primary care doctors.
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“We do not have the capability to run rapid tests in ER. The only reason to come to the hospital is if you have symptoms, are of an advanced age or have preexisting conditions as per the CDC recommendation. Asymptomatic people who think they may have been exposed need to contact their primary care physicians and self quarantine!"

In reference to an earlier conversation in which she'd expressed concern about people not taking social distancing seriously enough, she said:
"Self-quarantine does not include going to the grocery store!"

And Dr. Khan again warned anyone without serious symptoms who's considering a visit to the ER needs to think twice:
“The turnaround time for testing is 3 to 4 days. If you come to the hospital you will be quarantined for this period of time and we cannot allow your family to visit! Help us help you!”