“It’s just not sustainable to think that every time a health care worker is exposed they have to be quarantined for 14 days. We’d run out of health care workers,” said Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. But many are worried that the very people who will be working round-the-clock to help coronavirus patients are among the most vulnerable population for becoming infected. Experts are also worried about airport screeners.
Modern Healthcare: Healthcare Workers Concerned For Safety As Coronavirus Cases Rise
Healthcare workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak are urging hospitals to work with them to reduce the risk of infections among employees as a way to ensure there are enough staffer to care for patients. A total of 14 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19 as of Friday, according to reports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 200 coronavirus cases have been reported across 19 states. (Johnson, 3/6)
Kaiser Health News: Surging Health Care Worker Quarantines Raise Concerns As Coronavirus Spreads
As the U.S. battles to limit the spread of the highly contagious new coronavirus, the number of health care workers ordered to self-quarantine because of potential exposure to an infected patient is rising at an exponential pace. In Vacaville, California, alone, one case — the first documented instance of community transmission in the U.S. — left more than 200 hospital workers under quarantine and unable to work for weeks. Across California, dozens more health care workers have been ordered home because of possible contagion in response to more than 80 confirmed cases as of Sunday afternoon. (Gold, 3/9)
Reuters: Top U.S. Congressional Democrats Urge Worker Protections During Coronavirus Outbreak
The two top U.S. congressional Democrats urged President Donald Trump on Sunday to act quicker to protect workers affected by the deadly coronavirus, including free testing for the virus and paid sick leave for those under quarantine orders or caring for children kept home by school closures. “President Trump continues to manufacture needless chaos within his administration and it is hampering the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak,” House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. (3/8)
Reuters: U.S. Airport Screeners, Health Workers Plagued By Fear And Anger As Coronavirus Spreads
As coronavirus cases exploded across the world, federal medical workers tasked with screening incoming passengers at U.S. airports grew alarmed: Many were working without the most effective masks to protect them from getting sick themselves. Screeners with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked their supervisors this week to change official protocols and require stronger masks, according to an internal document reviewed by Reuters. (3/8)
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