Workers

Hospital Workers Complain of Minimal Disclosure After COVID Exposures

Dinah Jimenez assumed a world-class hospital would be better prepared than a chowder house to inform workers when they had been exposed to a deadly virus.

So, when her boyfriend, an employee of a popular seafood restaurant in Seattle, received a call from his boss on a Sunday in late March telling him a co-worker had tested positive for COVID-19 and that he needed to quarantine for 14 days, she said she assumed she’d get a similar call from the University of Washington Medical Center. After all, the infected restaurant employee worked a second job alongside her at the hospital’s Plaza Cafe.

That call never came, she said.

Jimenez, 42, said she returned to her job as a cashier at the hospital cafeteria two days later, and “it was like nothing had happened. They didn’t say anything.” She said the infected worker, a fellow cashier, was stationed just 2 feet

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Widely Used Surgical Masks Are Putting Health Care Workers At Serious Risk

With medical supplies in high demand, federal authorities say health workers can wear surgical masks for protection while treating COVID-19 patients — but growing evidence suggests the practice is putting workers in jeopardy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently said lower-grade surgical masks are “an acceptable alternative” to N95 masks unless workers are performing an intubation or another procedure on a COVID patient that could unleash a high volume of virus particles.

But scholars, nonprofit leaders and former regulators in the specialized field of occupational safety say relying on surgical masks — which are considerably less protective than N95 respirators — is almost certainly fueling illness among front-line health workers, who likely make up about 11% of all known COVID-19 cases.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that that’s one of the reasons that so many health care workers are getting sick and many are dying,” said Jonathan

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Abbott’s Fast COVID Test Poses Safety Issues, Lab Workers Say

Lab personnel say worries are mounting over the safety of a rapid coronavirus test by Abbott Laboratories that President Donald Trump has repeatedly lauded ― particularly, the risk of infection to those handling it.

Trump and federal health officials have promoted the ease with which the Abbott test can be given to patients, whether at a drive-thru site or a doctor’s office. Another selling point: The test could “save personal protective equipment (PPE),” according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Yet medical workers say that there’s a serious danger in the test’s design, one that would require much more protection — not less ― for those who administer it.

Running a test involves swabbing a potentially infected person’s nasal passage and swirling the specimen in an open container with liquid chemicals, raising the potential of releasing the highly contagious virus into the air.

When HHS announced it had

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Biden Says OSHA Isn’t Doing Enough To Protect Workers’ From COVID-19

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