St. Francis Employees Protest Over Hospital’s Threat to Patients and Staff After COVID-Positive Caregivers are Pressured Back to Work

St. Francis Employees Protest Over Hospital’s Threat to Patients and Staff After COVID-Positive Caregivers are Pressured Back to Work

MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: 

January 26, 2022

LOS ANGELES –St. Francis Medical Center employees and allies will rally at 11 a.m., Wednesday, January 26 at St. Francis Medical Center, 3630 E Imperial Hwy in Lynwood, to expose the hospital’s threat to patients and staff through allowing asymptomatic COVID-positive caregivers to work in the facility.

Healthcare workers at St. Francis have expressed shock and anger at the January 8th guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) allowing acute care hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities to bring healthcare workers back to work after they have tested positive for COVID-19 or been directly exposed without any testing or isolation periods. Caregivers say that compromising common-sense safety requirements for testing and isolation will increase workplace outbreaks and put vulnerable patients and their co-workers at grave risk.

“We’re protesting to warn our patients that St. Francis has an irresponsible practice of pressuring COVID-positive employees to return to work. Almost every hospital in California is not following the CDPH guidelines, but St. Francis is the odd one out,” said Mayra Castaneda, an ultrasound technician at St. Francis Medical Center. “St. Francis and Prime Healthcare are prioritizing profits over safety and are putting people at risk of contracting COVID from a healthcare worker if they come into the hospital.”

The CDPH guidance is not binding on hospital employers who are allowed to maintain stricter precautions such as a requirement for a negative test before a COVID-positive or exposed healthcare worker returns to work.

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CONTACT: Renée Saldaña, mediarelations@seiu-uhw.org

SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is a healthcare justice union of more than 100,000 healthcare workers, patients, and healthcare activists united to ensure affordable, accessible, high-quality care for all Californians, provided by valued and respected healthcare workers. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.