A humanitarian disaster is occurring at St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet because of a rule that forces a prison to send patients to the nearest hospital. An ER doctor describes his ICU as a war zone. Dr. John Walsh has been sounding the alarm for several days appearing on local television stations to call attention to his hospital that is overwhelmed with the number of patients with COVID-19 from Stateville Correctional Center.

Dr. John Walsh says the hospital has received all the Stateville inmates infected with COVID-19. And there will be more coming. Up to 200 coronavirus tests from Stateville are pending results. St. Joe’s is treating 18 inmates of which 8 of them are on ventilators.

Prisons must send ill patients to the nearest hospital. Illinois State Senator Pat McGuire and Illinois State Rep. Larry Walsh Jr. have been speaking with the Pritzker administration to allow other hospitals to accept the inmates.

Rep. Walsh tells WJOL, they have received a letter that will allow for load sharing to local hospitals. Those hospitals include Morris Hospital, Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee, Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox and St. Mary’s Hospital in Kankakee.

To hear the interviews with Dr. Walsh, Senator McGuire and Rep. Walsh go to our podcast section.