New York State Department of Health orders emergency measures inside Albany Medical Center’s oncology unit after COVID infects dozens of patients and staff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 16, 2021
Contact: Carl Ginsburg | carl.ginsburg@nysna.org | 917-405-1060

Emergency Actions come afetr months of nurse complaints as they fight for patients

Total numbers in 3 months: 54 infected - 28 staff and 26 patients including several deaths

Albany – The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) announces that the New York State Department of Health (DOH) has ordered emergency measures, effective immediately, inside Albany Medical Center’s oncology unit after dozens of patients, nurses and other caregivers were infected with COVID-19 over the last three months. This action comes after months of complaints by nurses including official complaints to the state as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

There have been three COVID-19 outbreaks since November of 2020, and the latest infection numbers are staggering:

  • 54 infected
  • 28 staff
  • 26 patients
  • At least one individual has died of COVID complications
  • Several patients remain intubated

In the complaints, nurses have been clear repeatedly that the outbreak and the spread are caused by:

  • A failure to provide adequate personal protective equipment;
  • A failure to follow infection controls, including patient cohort protocols;
  • A failure by management to listen to the frontline nurses who have been fighting day and night for their patients.

See HERE for a redacted version of the state complaint filed on January 18th between the 2nd and 3rd outbreaks.

The State Department of Health has ordered that no new patients enter the unit and no floating of nurses in or out of the unit. The unit will be closed “indefinitely,” once remaining patients can safely leave.

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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, visit nysna.org.

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