Photo of Rows of Hospital iPads Used for End of Life Visits Amid Pandemic Goes Viral

A photo of rows of iPads in a hospital has revealed the reality of the isolation COVID-19 patients are facing in hospitals in the US.

The picture, posted by Twitter user Roto_tudor, has been shared thousands of times on social media.

"These are iPad stations being prepared for virtual ICU end of life visits by a palliative care doc I know," the user wrote alongside the image.

The risk of transmitting coronavirus means hospital patients in intensive care are having to speak to friends and family via the iPads, instead of seeing them in person.

The picture has been retweeted more than 24,000 times and has attracted 101,000 likes.

Some social media users have commented with stories of having to communicate with relatives and loved ones online.

"On Monday my boyfriend said goodbye to his mother on an iPad. He didn't get one last hug or simply hold her hand," one person wrote.

These are iPad stations being prepared for virtual ICU end of life visits by a palliative care doc I know. Jesus. pic.twitter.com/lIgbg0FhaL

— i cant drive, n95 (@roto_tudor) December 3, 2020

"He sat behind glass & held an iPad to try and prevent doing the same goodbye with his elderly father. I have rage. I can't even be sad yet because I'm just so angry."

Another said: "Just had to talk to my grandma in her nursing room through an iPad visit. We can't see her and I hate this."

"Did the same with my mother Thanksgiving Day. The pain of losing her is almost unbearable and it was so unnecessary," another commented.

According to the latest New York Times data, there are now more than 14 million confirmed cases of Covid-19. At least 276,300 have died as a result of the virus.

Surging rates of COVID-19 infections have led to cities and states taking more drastic measures to curb the spread, including the closure of non-essential businesses and curfews.

California has unveiled plans to issue regional stay-at-home orders for areas in the state where intensive care units are expected to be overwhelmed.

So far, the state has reported more than 1.2 million cases of COVID-19 and over 19.400 deaths.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the new restrictions on Thursday as cases in the state reached the highest reported since the pandemic began.

The stay-at-home order will include restrictions on business and gathering spaces, which will mean gyms, indoor places of worship and playgrounds will have to shut. Restaurants will also have to close, except to provide take-out or delivery.

"The bottom line is if we don't act now, our hospital system will be overwhelmed," Newsom said. "If we don't act now, our death rate will continue to climb."

US covid hospital
Rising rates of COVID-19 infections have led to cities and states taking more drastic measures to curb the spread Spencer Platt/Getty Images