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Doctor Reveals The Concerning Truth Behind This Chicago Med COVID Scene

Season 6 of the hit medical drama Chicago Med (which is part of the One Chicago franchise) began airing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many other shows that went into production in 2020, the series tackled the situation head-on, and showed how the staff of Gaffney Chicago Medical Center was handling the ongoing real-world crisis. However, just because the series incorporated COVID-19 into its world, doesn't mean they always got things right.

Take, for instance, the season 6 episode "For the Want of a Nail." Early in the hour, viewers are introduced to a patient named Hector Campos (Rene L. Moreno), who is admitted with symptoms including fever and shortness of breath, both of which could point to COVID-19. However, Hector's wife Louisa (Monica Orozco) quickly notes that her husband took a COVID-19 test that came back negative, and his mystery condition does turn out to be something different. That doesn't mean the staff is off the hook for how they handled Hector's case, though.

Looper reached out to Dr. Mauricio Heilbron, a trauma and ER surgeon who is also the Vice Chief of Staff at St. Mary's Medical Center, to ask about the accuracy of the scene. Dr. Heilbron's response was clear: "When it comes to Chicago Med's depiction of how hospital wards handle COVID-19 today.... hell NO this isn't realistic."

Here's where he thinks the show went wrong in depicting a hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The staff at Gaffney Chicago Medical Center is a bit too loose with their COVID protocol

The first major problem Dr. Heilbron had with Chicago Med's COVID-19 scene is something the audience can see immediately: everyone's faces. Neither the Camposes nor the hospital staff are wearing masks, something that defies the reality of the situation. Dr. Heilbron clarified, "We wear our masks all the time. ALL. THE. TIME."

All the time even includes when the patient one is working with took a negative COVID-19 test. "[Hector's] symptoms alone would make all those healthcare workers not only keep their masks on, but question the validity of the original test," Dr. Heilbron told us, adding that they would also, "Demand a repeat. Continue isolating the patient as a precaution."

Even if follow up tests confirmed that Hector wasn't COVID-19 positive, that still wouldn't be a reason to go in maskless. According to Dr. Heilbron, "Health care workers also wear masks to prevent spread...from themselves TO patients...not just the other way around."

Now, there's likely a practical reason for why the characters weren't masked up in those scenes. Dr. Heilbron did say, "I DO understand creative license, and that it is difficult to act...to deliver your lines...to give the performance the screenplay deserves and the director desires...with the majority of your face covered."

Still, Dr. Heilbron hoped for a bit more authenticity from the series (something we know the franchise is capable of). As he put it, "I'd like to believe there are ways to not interfere with the 'art' and yet still have what happens on screen ring true."