JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The calls are growing louder for a state of emergency, or even a local emergency to be issued as we are seeing a significant increase in COVID-19 positive cases and hospitalizations.
"The state is on fire. Jacksonville is in a state of crisis," said Dr. Adriana Cantville.
She speaks from experience and perspective as a pediatrician at UF Health Jacksonville. Like many other doctors and nurses, she's working longer hours to treat some of the youngest COVID-19 patients, but she could use more help.
"One big area in need is in nursing. Unfortunately, we have lost a lot of nurses to travel assignments and quite frankly to burn out," she told First Coast News.
A state of emergency issued by the governor could give the state more healthcare providers, similar to one issued earlier in the pandemic, allowing doctors and nurses with out-of-state licenses to care for patients in state.
National Guard troops could also help facilitate more vaccination efforts. But earlier this week, Governor Ron DeSantis said he has no plans to issue another emergency.
"While the hospitals can try and get creative and put up beds in board rooms, conference rooms, cafeterias, we need the staff to take care of people,' Dr. Cantville said.
She wants those who can get the vaccine to do so, as well as wearing a mask. They are two protections she says can help prevent you from becoming her next patient.