SAN DIEGO — News 8’s Stella Escobedo talked to one cardiologist about what it’s like on the frontlines as healthcare workers, doctors, and nurses do their best to help people who are diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Dr. Ernst Schwarz, who works in southern California, says healthcare workers, doctors, and nurses are doing everything they can to help people.

“Everyone is scared as you know and everyone tries to protect themselves -- wearing masks, wearing gowns, keeping a distance, closing the windows we talk through in the clinic. We have protection devices when we encounter patients with masks, but not the N95 masks unless there’s a high suspicion of coronavirus, then we gown up completely," Schwarz, said.

As far as the N95 masks go, Dr. Schwarz says they're regulated. Only healthcare workers who are dealing with suspected coronavirus patients or confirmed patients get them.

On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom said 24.4 million N95 masks have been distributed. The governor has secured 100 million N95 masks. They're on the way and should be here soon.

Aside from the masks, Dr. Schwarz thinks the number of cases will definitely go up, and the hospitals will need more respirators.

“Everyone is awaiting the storm, and when the storm comes, we will need thousands of respirators, in addition, we will need more physicians and healthcare workers who are willing to encounter those critical patients. We are staffed right now, but in a week or two the situation might be completely different,” Schwarz said.

Dr. Schwarz says the patients in the hospitals with coronavirus, or suspected to have it, are put in isolation in negative pressure rooms.

Also, Governor Newsom said that Elon Musk has stepped up and delivered more than 1,200 ventilators to California lawmakers who will get them to hospitals. 

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