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As virus surges in some US states, emergency rooms swamped

In Texas, one doctor said the current situation is worse than after Hurricane Harvey.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this July 16, 2020 file photo, Infectious Disease Physician Army Maj. Gadiel Alvarado, left, with the Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force, walks down the hall with United Memorial Medical Center's Mariya Mohiuddin, director of COVID-19 testing and logistics, inside a newly setup wing in the hospital in Houston. Texas reported a new daily record for virus deaths Friday and more than 10,000 confirmed cases for the fourth consecutive day. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A fast-rising tide of new coronavirus cases is flooding emergency rooms in parts of the United States. 

Some patients have been moved into hallways, and nurses are working extra shifts to keep up with the surge. 

Officials say patients struggling to breathe are being placed on ventilators in emergency wards since intensive care units are full, and the near-constant care they require is overtaxing workers who also are treating more typical ER cases. 

In Texas, one doctor said the current situation is worse than after Hurricane Harvey. The state reported a new daily record for virus deaths Friday and more than 10,000 confirmed cases for the fourth consecutive day.  

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