New York nurses sue state, two hospitals over ‘insufficient’ coronavirus safety

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(Information) – The New York State Nurses Affiliation sued the state and two hospitals on Monday to power them to supply security tools and undertake measures to forestall COVID-19 from spreading amongst its members, highlighting the rising disputes over office security through the coronavirus pandemic.

Nurses at Montefiore Medical Heart Moses Division hospital maintain a protest demanding N95 masks and different important Private Protecting Tools (PPE) to deal with sufferers through the outbreak coronavirus illness (COVID-19) within the Bronx borough of New York Metropolis, New York, U.S., April 2, 2020. Information/Brendan Mcdermid

The affiliation sued the New York Division of Well being, Montefiore Medical Heart and the mum or dad firm of the Westchester Medical Heart. The nurses requested judges to order the defendants to supply masks and different safety to nurses.

“These lawsuits have been filed to guard our nurses, our sufferers and our communities from grossly insufficient and negligent protections,” mentioned an announcement from Pat Kane, the affiliation’s govt director.

The courtroom filings mentioned the hospitals have been ignoring necessities by the state’s COVID-19 job power that healthcare employees obtain an N95 respirator masks day by day, and that the well being division was not imposing it.

The Division of Well being mentioned it has taken each step crucial to make sure that healthcare employees have the wanted assist and provides.

Westchester Medical Heart Well being Community mentioned its focus has been on defending its workforce, whereas Montefiore mentioned nurses have been attacking the system whereas their colleagues have been working to avoid wasting lives.

The affiliation represents 42,000 nurses within the state, which leads the nation with about 233,000 COVID-19 circumstances. The affiliation mentioned that 9,514 of its registered nurses have examined constructive for the extremely contagious respiratory sickness attributable to the virus and that 11 have died.

The affiliation requested a state choose to dam the Division of Well being from imposing a directive requiring healthcare personnel to return to work solely seven days after the onset of COVID-19, even when they nonetheless have signs.

The nurses mentioned the directive violated a state regulation adopted in March that offered quarantined employees 14 days paid sick depart.

The filings described Westchester Medical Heart as “like a conflict zone.”

“Now we have been instructed to this point our N95 respirators and to make use of the identical N95 respirator for every week,” mentioned Mary-Lynn Boyts, a nurse at Westchester Medical Heart, in an affidavit.

Whereas tens of tens of millions of People have been laid off or are working from house, security is turning into a flashpoint for individuals who are staffing grocery shops, quick meals eating places and warehouses.

Staff have stayed house from meat processing vegetation, which have been hit by coronavirus outbreaks, and Amazon.com Inc fired three staff who questioned the protection of its warehouses..

The pinnacle of the Teamsters union informed U.S. President Donald Trump final week that employees wanted larger entry to protecting gear and disinfected workplaces earlier than returning to work.

Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware and Gabriella Borter and Brendan Pierson in New York; Modifying by Tom Brown and Invoice Berkrot