By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – We’ve heard the message for months. But today, healthcare workers are really hoping people will listen and ring in the new year – at home.

That’s especially true for doctors and nurses who work in emergency departments across the Southland.

Connie Richey, the Emergency Department Nurse Manager at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, says emergency rooms normally see a variety of patients on New Year’s Eve.

But this year, with the number of coronavirus cases spiking, the staff is anticipating a mix of COVID patients and people who may come in with New Year’s Eve injuries and illnesses.

“Our hospitals all over the place are getting overrun with these COVID patients and we’re just hoping that everybody stays at home,” said Richey.

Emergency entrance to the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. Greater Los Angeles is emerging as America’s hardest hit metropolitan area as Covid-19 sweeps across California like never beforePhotographer: Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Richey tells us they are prepared for tonight because they’re already operating in surge mode, which means they are constantly anticipating a high volume of patients.

“We call in as many people as we can and we have all our areas open and ready and waiting for whatever is to come through our doors,” she said.

Health authorities have warned that a backed-up emergency room threatens the level of care for all patients. But it’s also affecting the doctors and nurses who say they are simply exhausted.

As for New Year’s Eve, the Emergency Department at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center will be fully staffed.

“We’re hoping that people are really paying attention and listening…and not going out so that the hospitals get a little bit of a break,” said Richey.