DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The number of patients being treated for Covid-19 in North Texas hospitals reached a new high Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Records from the Texas Department of State Health Services show there are 2,523 patients being treated for the virus in hospitals in Trauma Service E, which covers the region.

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In addition, the rate of Covid-19 patients is 16.43% of total hospital capacity in the region, exceeding 15% for its fifth straight day.

If that continues after seven consecutive days, business openings will be scaled back in the counties in the region from 75% to 50% occupancy and bars will close.

The Director of Nursing of Critical Care at Texas Health Fort Worth, Charlsea Prichard said Tuesday, that despite fatigue, nurses, doctors, lab workers and others have answered the call to care for patients with Covid-19 for eight months.

“Our nurses are just stepping up. And you know, our respiratory therapist and lab workers. We have the most amazing physicians.”

Prichard says at Texas Health Fort Worth right now, they have on any given day between 150 and 160 Covid-19 patients.

In September, on any given day, they treated between 30 and 40 patients.

“Our biggest concern is we’re just going to keep seeing the numbers rise. We don’t want to get to the point where we don’t have those beds available. And now we don’t want to get to a point where we don’t have the staff.”

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She said what makes treating the virus so difficult is how unpredictable it is from patient to patient.

“They’re fine one day and the next day, they’re not. As a nurse and physicians, we know when it gets to that point, we have to talk to the family and tell the family what’s going on and then we will usually have the family come up and discuss end of life situations.”

That has taken an emotional toll on nurses and doctors.

“Makes my heartbreak when I have to hear family saying goodbye to the last time to their loved one or when I’m having to, you know, try to explain to them what’s going on. And they’re finally realizing that you know that their loved one may not be coming home.”

Prichard oversees the intensive care unit and the unit below it.

She helps nurses care for the patients, and said her job is to make sure nurses have what they need to care for patients, and that they are doing ok emotionally.

When asked how she makes sure that she is doing well, Prichard said, “I’m okay, if my nurses are okay. And my patients are okay. I think just knowing that we’re making a difference, and we are saving lives, and that we are helping our community by doing our part that is what fulfills me.”

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