Mount Sinai hospitals says they will make coronavirus test kits available to staff members after several workers held a protest over the lack of adequate personal protective equipment and the inability for staff members to be tested at the hospital.
Staff members at the New York hospital told NBC News that even though a nurse died after contracting the virus, and many other staff members in his department were beginning to show symptoms, they were not given access to the test.
“The way management has been managing this crisis showed us that infectious disease protocol or staffing safety is not their concern,” a nurse told NBC.
After a protest and several inquiries made by NBC, the hospital sent an email to staff members oking the testing of those showing symptoms:
“Starting on Tuesday, April 7, if you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, we would like to test you for this viral infection using the PCR test with a nasopharyngeal swab within a few days of the onset of your symptoms,” said the email Saturday from Senior Vice President Vicki R. LoPachin to all staffers of the New York City area’s Mount Sinai hospital network. “This will provide guidance to you and to Employee Health Services regarding your clinical status and return to work.”
For those who experienced symptoms prior to April 7th, the hospital says it would use another test:
“If you were symptomatic prior to April 7, we would like to test you for COVID-19 infection using the serum antibody test. This will provide guidance to you on whether you did have COVID-19 infection as well as whether you are a candidate to provide a plasma donation to help others.”
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