Atlanta hospitals overwhelmed by coronavirus patients

ICU beds filled to capacity in Atlanta
ICU beds filled to capacity in Atlanta 01:27

Last Updated Mar 25, 2020 7:37 PM EDT

At Atlanta's Grady Hospital, all 100 beds in the intensive care unit were full. Then COVID-19 hit. Viral patients are now quarantined wherever the hospital finds space.

"The stress is not just capacity," Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Jansen told CBS News. "It's not just stress of supplies, but on the individuals taking care of the patients. Because so much is not known."

At all of Atlanta's four major hospitals, every ICU bed is taken.

"Just kinda deteriorated," said Justin Anthony, whose cousin is in one of those hospitals. "By Sunday, the fever had not broken and she started coughing.

His cousin, Emma, is 12, one of Georgia's youngest coronavirus patients. Emma's hooked to a ventilator at Atlanta's Children Hospital.

In Alabama, a newborn baby girl is in isolation after her nurse tested positive for COVID-19.

Back in Georgia, at one rural hospital, 12 COVID-19 patients have died. That's more than in thirty-eight states. The hospital is overwhelmed.

"They've asked for help, but we can't give it," Jansen said.

Patients with garden-variety coughs and headaches go from the E.R. to Grady Hospital's mobile emergency room for more treatment — kept away from the COVID-19 patients that have overwhelmed Atlanta's level one trauma center. 

  • strassmannbio2011.jpg
    Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001 and is based in the Atlanta bureau.