Inside a Houston Hospital During a Coronavirus Surge (22 photos)

In the past seven days, the state of Texas has reported more than 52,000 new cases of COVID-19, and has attributed more than 2,300 deaths to the disease. Health care workers continue to struggle to accommodate and care for an increasing number of people needing hospitalization as cases have surged in Texas, Florida, and California. Callaghan O’Hare, a photographer with Reuters, spent time inside Houston’s United Memorial Medical Center over the past month documenting the work being done by chief medical officer Dr. Joseph Varon and his team, under stressful and challenging circumstances. Dr. Varon said “I’m afraid that at some point in time I’m going have to make some very serious decisions. I’m starting to get the idea that I cannot save everybody.”

Dr. Joseph Varon, 58, the chief medical officer at United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC), hugs Christina Mathers, 43, a nurse from his team who became infected with COVID-19, at UMMC, during the coronavirus outbreak, in Houston, Texas, on July 25, 2020. Mathers was told she tested positive for COVID-19 after she reported feeling ill during one of her shifts. “That’s the hardest thing to ever hear… It messes with you,” said Mathers, who has been working every other day since April 29. “But I wouldn’t go anywhere else but here.”

Callaghan O’Hare / Reuters)

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