“More and more of our co-workers are coming down
with the virus. It’s scary.”
[6-1-20] LOS ANGELES – Staff at Good Samaritan Hospital will hold an action from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, June 2, to protest a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), short staffing and training deficiencies as they take care of COVID-19 patients during the pandemic.
“Every day I feel like we’re risking our lives,” said Idma Velasquez, a housekeeper. “We don’t have the masks, gloves and other protection we need, and we don’t have enough staff to keep everyone safe. I know we have a lot of COVID-19 patients in the hospital, but management doesn’t tell us anything, and it’s hard to get tested. More and more of our co-workers are coming down with the virus. It’s scary.”
Workers report widespread shortages of PPE and the unsafe recycling of single-use equipment like masks and gloves. So far, at least 24 registered nurses and 18 nursing assistants, respiratory techs and other caregivers at the hospital have tested positive for COVID-19, and short staffing at the facility makes the problem worse.
“I got sick a few days after working a shift with 36 patients in the ICU – most of them COVID-19 patients,” said Michelle Carre, a certified nursing assistant at the hospital. “Once I tested positive for the virus, I knew it was because we’re too short-staffed and we don’t have enough masks and other protective gear. It’s dangerous for everyone, and Good Sam has got to do better to help us protect the community.”
WHAT: Protest by healthcare workers at Good Samaritan Hospital. Workers will be available for interviews.
WHEN: 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. Tuesday, June 2.
WHERE: 1225 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, at the corner of Wilshire and Witmer. Workers will gather on both sides of Wilshire Blvd. to carry signs and chant.
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SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is one of the largest unions of hospital workers in the United States, with 97,000 members. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.