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Personal video diaries give glimpse into COVID-19 fight at Parkland Hospital

Since March, Parkland Hospital has opened three tactical care units that are strictly for COVID-19 patients.

DALLAS — Parkland Hospital first opened up its tactical care unit in March just as COVID-19 was ramping up. Since then, the hospital has opened up two more units that strictly serve coronavirus patients.

Parkland told WFAA there are 164 beds at the hospital for patients fighting the virus.

"My gut tells me we're not at the end, we're kind of at the beginning," said Dr. Joseph Chang.

Access is limited to only those who work at the hospital and those being treated there. WFAA got a glimpse of the inside of these units with the help of video diaries that employees recorded with their own cameras.

"You never know what to expect. Every day is a little different and it's always busy," said Madisen Stacks, a registered nurse at Parkland.

Stacks is one of the hundreds of staff working 10 to 12 grueling hours a day with coronavirus patients. Stacks' video diary starts with an early morning and coffee. As soon as she steps foot into the ward, she is temperature checked. She gave a tour of a supply room that has hundreds of masks, gloves and other protective wear.

"There's so much that is unknown about this disease and everybody is ready for it to be over," said Stacks. 

In recent weeks, North Texas has seen a significant spike in positive COVID-19 cases. The number of deaths related to the virus has fluctuated from day to day. The number of patients treated at Parkland for the virus also fluctuates hour to hour.

"But we've outgrown [the tactical care units]. And we got to open another ward and yesterday we had to open a third," Chang said.

Parkland told WFAA there is bed capacity and space to create more units. But the future is still murky and healthcare professionals are concerned about the current trajectory of cases.

"I'm just worried what's to come two to three weeks from now," said one healthcare worker.

The health professionals at Parkland are pleading for people to listen and heed the warnings: wear masks, wash hands and social distance.

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