Florida lab tech feels 'weight of the world' as COVID-19 surges

AdventHealth Tampa lab techs are sounding the alarm on the unique nature of the current COVID-19 surge in Florida through a local ABC news report.

"I really never have gone through anything like this before in my career in the lab," Kelly Clemens, a medical lab scientist at AdventHealth Tampa, told ABC. "What I see is all the patient results, and these people are very, very sick. I've never seen numbers like this before, numbers so high you know they are sick. I don't see them physically, but I see the results."

She said the tests measuring COVID-19 patients' inflammatory response spike quickly, and then some keep rising. Ms. Clemens and her colleagues see a constant stream of nasal swabs and blood samples during their 12 to 16 hour shifts. Nationwide, the U.S. hit the highest daily level of COVID-19 cases since February on Aug. 9, and Florida reported 90 cases per 100,000 population.

Ms. Clemens said the team stays motivated because they know they're helping patients who need significant care.

"There is a lot of stress with it," Ms. Clemens said. "You feel like you have the weight of the world watching all this. I feel very stressed. I see the patients, and I feel for that, and I am also concerned about my own family and the cautions we need to take, so it has changed everything that we do."

 

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