Nurses union says UC Davis Medical Center did not take COVID-19 threat seriously

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — UC Davis Medical Center staff who came in contact with a COVID-19 patient from Solano County are now being quarantined.

The nurses union is saying the hospital did not take the threat seriously despite warnings by nurses before the patient tested positive for the coronavirus disease.

UC Davis nurse Melissa Johnson-Camacho, the chief nurse representative for the California Nurses Association, said despite some initial reactions, nurses always get down to the business of treating patients with infectious diseases.

The union is working with hospital officials to reinforce safety measures.

“Any of those units that are dealing with that patient have an infectious disease team right on staff coaching them and helping them in and out with precautions,” Johnson-Camacho told FOX40.

It’s assumed hospital nurses know all there is to know about infectious diseases but this coronavirus is new and people know very little about it. That causes some apprehension.

“I mean, the masks come up a lot,” Johnson-Camacho said. “Staff want to wear masks.”

Images of how Chinese health workers are protecting themselves can be daunting.

The staff at the medical center deals with infectious diseases all the time, like tuberculosis and measles.

“This is how many feet, this is what you use to clean it, you know all that,” Johnson-Camacho explained. “But if it’s a novel virus that they’re still learning about, more unknowns, and that makes nervous people.”

The dozens of nurses and staff sent home for quarantine is a precaution. None of them have tested positive for COVID-19.

The nurses union said it is evident the hospital did not take the threat seriously.

Of course, hospital nurses in general often wear masks to protect themselves and others, especially during flu season.

The nurses union says it is putting out its own safety information to nurses to augment what management is doing.

“Flyers, training on all of this, and so we are working with management to make sure that we are with the highest precautions so we can protect our patients, protect our nurses, protect staff,” Johnson-Camacho told FOX40.

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