‘We are tired’: Waterbury’s ER workers frustrated about the Delta variant spreading among the unvaccinated

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — About a year-and-a-half into the fight against the pandemic, hospital emergency workers at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury could use a dose of cooperation from about 50 percent of the community here.

According to the mayor’s office, that’s the percentage of the Waterbury population that has gotten only at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“From my standpoint, it does lead to frustration,” said Lisa Roy, who works with nurses in St. Mary’s Emergency Department.

“We definitely are fatigued,” said Lisa Ciarlo.

“There’s absolutely no doubt that the number of unvaccinated is contributing to the problem we are now facing,” said Dr. Peter Jacoby, Chairman of St. Mary’s Emergency Department.

That problem is an uptick in COVID cases, which they fear will lead to situations they faced toward the beginning of the pandemic.

“It definitely does impact us. We are seeing those patients that are not vaccinated,” Roy said.

“I’m anxious we are going to see more cases that will again affect the hospitals, emergency departments, our upstairs in person capacity and the ICUs,” Dr. Jacoby said.

Dr. Jacoby is a member of the mayor’s COVID-19 Task Force. He helped to organize several of the many free COVID Vaccination Clinics set up around the city. Many neighborhood groups have also organized pop-up clinics to get the vaccine directly into “hard-to-reach” communities.

“We eradicate diseases because of vaccination,” said Dr. Jacoby.

Despite the unwillingness of many to get the vaccine at this point in the pandemic, nurses at St. Mary’s Hospital say they remain as committed and dedicated as ever when it comes to caring for the public.

“We are tired,” Roy said. “I think it’s frustrating when we see people that can prevent this from happening but I will tell you that our nurses and our staff do come to work everyday. They are resilient.”

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