From cafeteria staff to doctors and nurses, hospital workers around the country report frustrating failures by management to notify them when they have been exposed to co-workers or patients known to be infected with COVID-19.
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Because high-end N95 masks are scarce, medical centers are using surgical masks that have been linked to considerably higher infection rates.
Former officials from the federal agency criticize OSHA for a slow and timid response to a “worker safety crisis of monstrous proportions” unfolding in hospitals, nursing homes.
Nurse Divina “Debbie” Accad had cared for veterans for over 25 years and was set to retire in April. But after contracting the novel coronavirus, she spent her final 11 days on a ventilator — and didn’t survive past March.
Daisy Doronila had a different perspective than most who worked at the Hudson County Correctional Facility, a New Jersey lockup 11 miles from Manhattan. It was a place where the veteran nurse could put her Catholic faith into action, showing kindness to marginalized people.
Nurse Vianna Thompson, 52, spent two night shifts caring for a fellow Veterans Affairs health care worker who was dying from COVID-19. Two weeks later, she too was lying in a hospital intensive care unit, with a co-worker holding her hand as she died.
Dr. J. Ronald Verrier, a surgeon at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, spent the final weeks of his audacious, unfinished life tending to a torrent of patients inflicted with COVID-19. He died April 8 at Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital in Oceanside, New York, at age 59, after falling ill from the novel coronavirus.
Jeff Baumbach, 57, was a seasoned nurse of 28 years when the novel coronavirus began to circulate in California. He’d worked in the ER, the ICU and on a cardiac floor. Hepatitis and tuberculosis had been around over the years but never posed a major concern.
Infection-report forms rarely indicate who is a health worker or whether they survived. States and hospitals tend to keep quiet, citing patient privacy.
Frank Gabrin knew the stakes of his job. What he found unsettling was having to reuse personal protective gear while caring for coronavirus patients.