SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Administrators at St. Joseph’s Hospital confirm six of its nurses have tested positive for COVID-19 and the group of nurses tells NewsChannel 9 that three more have tested positive since then.
The group of nurses blames the decision made by the hospital two weeks ago to discontinue the negative pressure system protecting the COVID-19 unit and the supply of N-95 masks protecting the nurses on the unit.
Several nurses and nurses’ family members contacted NewsChannel 9 with similar concerns.
One nurse, who spoke with NewsChannel 9, says she sent her daughter off to live with her parents to avoid spreading the virus when coming home from work.
She says, “A couple people have quit over it. People just aren’t willing to risk their lives or, more importantly, their families’ lives.”
The hospital administration argues, while always maintaining CDC guidelines but to preserve resources, it was appropriate to make the changes once the surge of patients was over.
Since the nurses believe they weren’t as well protected from their contagious patients and now the virus is spreading amongst them.
The hospital hasn’t been able to prove the nurses caught the virus from patients.
Since the nurses began complaining to their managers and posting their concerns on social media, the governor ordered hospitals to keep nursing home residents admitted as long as they are sick.
It’s that combination that the hospital claims inspired the unit to be returned to the original set-up. The hospital’s chief nursing officer says the negative pressure system comes with access to N-95 masks.
The administration says the intensive care unit has always had N-95 masks since the procedures staff do there force more contagious droplets into the air.