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Nurses concerned of COVID-19 exposure, lack of quarantine quarters

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Posted: Saturday, August 8, 2020. 4:59 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Concerned nurses have written to the Nurse Association of Belize expressing grave concerns over the situation they claim is unfolding at the Northern Regional Hospital (NRH).

In the letter, nurses explain that they have voiced their concerns regarding the current administration’s response, with respect to; exposure to COVID 19 infected individuals; staff displaying flu-like symptoms who are required to report to work, inadequate staffing, and the poor facility for triage and housing of COVID 19 clients.

The nurses say that there was an inpatient at the general ward, at NRH, that was diagnosed with COVID 19, who spent over 48 hours in the unit.

“Several staff members had primary contact with this client, who reportedly had poor mask usage etiquette. Staff in this ward was only provided with a surgical mask, despite performing aerosol generating procedures. The management team made the decision to have all these staff, from the general ward, report to work and function as business as usual,” the nurses noted.

The nurses say that a nurse from the emergency department was diagnosed with COVID-19 and several staff members had primary contact with the nurse and the administration has once again made the radical decision to keep those staff on duty.

“Currently a nurse from the surgical ward reported to have been displaying flu-like symptoms, of which she informed her supervision, who told her that despite her symptoms she is required to report to work, by administration. Nurses working at the flu clinic and COVID-19 isolation ward have voiced their frustration because of poor staffing and that the detained clients are housed in a position that puts staff and client(s) visiting the flu clinic at potential risk of contracting COVID 19. All these concerns were voiced to the different administrators, who have taken no action whatsoever,” the letter says.

The nurses are also concerned that none of the nurses who had primary contact with the patient are in quarantine.

The nurses say they are also waiting on the allowance promised by the Government.

There are also reports that a nurse who tested positive for COVID-19 was told to report for duties and that there would be no quarantine quarters for her.


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