Nurses Issue Call for Help in the Public Health Battle Against Coronavirus

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 10, 2020
Contact: Carl Ginsburg | carl.ginsburg@nysna.org | 917.405.1060

New York, NY – Based on the evidence to date, many greater NYC hospitals are failing to provide adequate healthcare worker protections in the handling of the expanding COVID-19 crisis. The result is a growing number of sick and quarantined healthcare workers.

WHO: Nurses of the New York State Nurses Association
WHAT: Nurses call for help in the fight against the coronavirus
WHERE: NYSNA Offices, 131 West 33rd Street, 2nd Floor
WHEN: NOON, Wednesday, March 11

With hospital staffing already extremely tight, losing hundreds of staff right at the onset of a major public health crisis is a disaster in the making. And it is one that can be prevented.

“According to the World Health Organization, protecting health-care workers from the coronavirus should be every country’s first priority,” said David Michaels, former assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health this week.

Nurses in NYC have already been quarantined and fallen ill due to the failure of government to take appropriate action.

Nurses are pleading with city, state and federal authorities to step up and help them battle the coronavirus.

“We are your public health army but we can’t defend people if we are not properly armed,” said NYSNA Executive Director Pat Kane, RN. “This is an enemy that is hard to defend against. We can’t see, hear or feel it. And we are fighting not just the virus, but the lack of recognition of the very real threat to those of us on the frontline.”

Nurses are calling for:

  • City, state and federal mandatory standards for the protection of healthcare workers
  • Follow established science - no “roll backs” on worker protections
  • Increase staffing, bring in needed equipment and supplies
  • Support the “Covid-19 Health Care Worker Protection Act” introduced in the House this week.

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The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents more than 42,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. For more information, please visit www.nysna.org.

About NYSNA

We are 42,000 nurses working together to win safe staffing, keep hospitals open for care, stop the Wall Street attack on our patients, and win healthcare for all.