Many people in New York state are staying home this week to avoid being exposed and spreading the coronavirus, however healthcare workers and other frontline staff are considered "essential" and expected to report to work.
These employees know they have a greater chance of being exposed while caring for a patient, yet their roles are essential. A recent shortage on personal protective equipment like the N95 facemasks, used to protect the wearer from airborne particles, has some people worried.
That includes an employee at the University of Rochester Medical Center, who spoke to WXXI News but preferred we not use her name.
“We love what we do, however we are very scared that we are going to contract this viral illness as well as we’re scared that we are going to pass it on to our families,” the employee said.
This staffer works in emergency medicine and said that they have not run out of protective gear yet, but in preparation, they are rationing its use.
“We’re all walking around with goggles on 24 hours a day we’re all walking around with surgical masks on. We’re being told to use them very wisely. Not like we used to like when we used them one time then we shot it in the trash. Some of us are wearing those masks all day,” she said.
A flier has circulated on social media asking non-essential businesses in Monroe County to donate new PPE gear that is not being used to the URMC.