CHICAGO (WLS) — Nurses nationwide will take part in a national day of action Thursday, as they are concerned about job safety.

Some nurses are expected to rally in the Illinois Medical District locally, across from the old Cook County Hospital, about 11 a.m.

They’re calling on President Joe Biden to better protect healthcare workers during the COVID pandemic.

This comes as Gov. JB Pritzker sends help to hospitals.

“Healthcare workers have been deployed across the state; 919 of them are on-site supporting hospitals hit hard by COVID right now,” he said Wednesday.

The strain on hospitals is clear in the data.

SEE MORE: Illinois COVID: IL reports 34,573 new cases, 144 deaths; hospitalizations hit record high

In Region 7, it’s dire. Will and Kankakee counties have just 5% of ICU beds available. That’s just seven beds.

In Region 9, that includes McHenry and Lake counties, 10% of all ICU beds are available.

In Region 8, that includes Kane and DuPage counties, it’s 9%.

And in suburban Cook County, it’s just 8%.

In Region 11, Chicago, 7% of ICU beds remained available as of Thursday morning.

“Our healthcare workers are burning the candle at both ends, and in the middle as well, to care for COVID patients who could have avoided the hospitalization if they were up-to-date on their vaccine,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.

Health experts insist vaccination and boosters are still the best weapons against this surge of COVID-19. And more help is coming.

“We have also created COVID reaction teams to respond quickly to emerging crisis at hospitals and other facilities. These teams have 237 healthcare workers already with another 340 arriving over the next 10 days,” the governor said Wednesday.

Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Source: ABC7

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