Staffing shortages combined with the massive rise in respiratory diseases and other seasonal illnesses are overwhelming hospitals. The situation is so rough that a nurse in charge of a Silverdale, Washington emergency room called 911 for medical help. From Ars Technica:
There were reportedly over 45 people in the department's waiting room and only five nurses on staff.
Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue Chief Jay Christian told local media that he sent a crew to the hospital, St. Michael Medical Center, and firefighters helped hospital staff there clean rooms, change beds, and take patients' vital signs until the crisis subsided.