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50 photos of the health care system during COVID-19

  • First responders handle an increase in the ER and the ICU

    An emergency room doctor tends to a trauma patient at a Riverside University Health System hospital. Earlier that week, the hospital set the record for having the most people hospitalized with COVID-19 anywhere in the country. As coronavirus cases increased in the county, so did trauma and emergency cases, stretching doctors to their very limits.

  • A clinic in Oakland serves the uninsured

    The pandemic has closed many small medical clinics that serve poor, undocumented, and uninsured patients with free or low-cost health care. As a result, individuals are now forced to drive further for care that has often been put off for too long. Marlen Valencia, a Fremont resident pictured here, is one such woman, who drove to Oakland to visit the Terra Nova Clinic.

  • Drive through clinics set up to tend to patients’ needs

    Christine Tsang, a nurse practitioner in the Bay Area, checks a patient for signs of COVID-19 before preparing her for surgery. As the California hot spot prepares for a potential COVID-19/influenza double-punch this winter, drive-through clinics like this one remain in place in an effort to keep sick (but non-COVID-19) patients from flooding doctor’s offices and emergency rooms.

  • Coronavirus inside the Navajo Nation Native American territory

    Native American communities have been particularly hard-hit by the novel coronavirus. In the Navajo Nation town of Monument Valley, Arizona a nurse checks vitals from a Navajo Indian woman complaining of virus symptoms.

  • Contact tracers in Virginia are being hired and trained to help stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic

    As the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States, health departments around the country have quickly established and staffed contact tracing programs. Here, a volunteer with the Alexandra medical reserve corps helps a newcomer through her first positive case call.

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  • Texas hospitals cope with state's surge in coronavirus cases

    A medical staff member rests in front of a fan in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations spiked after Texas first reopened on May 1, pushing intensive-care wards to full capacity and sparking concerns about a surge in fatalities as the virus continued to spread.

  • U.S. Senate hearing to review Operation Warp Speed

    Director of the National Institute of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, holds a model of the coronavirus as he testifies at a U.S. Senate hearing in Washington D.C., on July 2, 2020, where elected officials were reviewing Operation Warp Speed, the researching, manufacturing, and distribution of a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine.

  • Coronavirus and dialysis patient concerns

    Individuals undergoing regular dialysis treatment have been found to be highly susceptible to COVID-19. One U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid study found that dialysis patients had the highest rates of hospitalization among all Medicare beneficiaries with COVID-19, were more likely to have COVID-19 linked complications such as diabetes and heart failure, and were largely African American. Here, a dialysis nurse holds up a capillary dialyzer, a common component of dialysis treatment.

  • Wearing masks saves lives

    Masks have become a part of daily life during the coronavirus pandemic. A recent study published in the Nature Medicine Projects journal suggests that universal mask-wearing could spare some 130,000 lives between October 2020 and February 2021. Here, a health care worker demonstrates proper mask usage while answering the phone at Oakbend Medical Center in Richmond, Texas.

  • Florida volunteers take part in COVID-19 vaccine trials

    For months several companies have been working on developing COVID-19 vaccines. Here, Lisa Taylor, a volunteer participant, is inoculated in a vaccine trial at the Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Florida. While some of these vaccines appear to be effective at this time, experts warn that it could still be months before they’re available to the general public.

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