SEIU Local 221 labor union members released a survey report April 6 highlighting a risk for front-line healthcare personnel and nurses.
Half of nurses reported not having N95 respirator masks or not having enough of them. SEIU Local 221 has been collecting data on the availability of PPE from health care workers and other front-line personnel from March 25 to April 4.
San Diego County employees are on the front lines of the efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 throughout the community and to treat patients that are vulnerable or infected. County staff and the population they serve are at particular risk in County jails, Polinsky Children’s Center, Psychiatric Hospital of San Diego County and Edgemoor. To date, a number of county staff have been confirmed as positive and presumptive positive for COVID-19.
As part of the report, union members organized a video that included front-line nursing staff and their struggles to get Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
“County management must address staff who are issued incorrect sizes of N95 respirators and address reusing N95 respirators,” said Amanda Dehart, a San Diego County Psychiatric Registered Nurse. “We are using ours for four shifts before getting replacements.”
Protecting San Diego County public health must emphasize the protection of front-line personnel.
“We are healthcare professionals who live our life in service to others,” said Sheriff’s Detention Nurse June Cuaresma. “All we ask is being provided tools we need to do our job as safely as possible.”
Also on April 6, SEIU Local 221 members, with 700,000 SEIU members across California, wrote a letter to Governor Newsom demanding immediate intervention to increase the supply of Personal Protective Equipment and to ensure it is distributed in a coordinated and equitable fashion that relies upon information from frontline workers. Read the letter by following this link.
SEIU Local 221
P.S. More coronavirus, COVID-19, resources
- Support your co-workers speaking out to #ProtectAllWorkers and fill out a membership card by following this link
- Our Bargaining Teams are calling on the County of San Diego and other employers to #ProtectAllWorkers. If you haven’t yet, sign the petition to protect all workers by following this link.
- Find out more about the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- Follow this link to download a PDF poster about FFCRA
- Follow this link for the FFRCA website