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South Florida nurses, doctors, others on coronavirus frontline risk exposure

Two JHS nurses test positive, one dies from COVID-19

MIAMI, Fla. – Emergency rooms across the country are packed with people suffering from coronavirus-like symptoms. The Jackson Health System is no different.

This week, two nurses tested positive with COVID-19. It's what killed Aracei Buendia Ilagan. Herine Baron and her seven month son are still recovering.

"I’m home right now self-quarantining, but I feel like I’m getting better every day," said Baron

Baron is a nurse in the emergency room. She has been publicly video logging her ordeal on social media without directly calling out her employer.

"The day that I felt like this happened, I wasn't protected. Every day they would preach something about PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). PPE, PPE, but yet you're not giving us the proper gear."

Another nurse hit Facebook first with disbelief and condolences over the death of his colleague and then vented frustrations over testing protocols for workers after they fear they’ve been exposed to positive patients.

The other gripe? A lack of proper protective equipment and hazardous pay. Something that elevates the risk even more for healthcare workers on the frontlines.

“This is ridiculous," said Baron. "I want all the nurses to protect themselves.”

The union that represents roughly 5,000 nurses, physicians and other healthcare professionals within the Jackson Health System addressed the issue in a statement which reads in part:

“We will continue to fight for expanded access to testing and personal protective equipment, to make sure our patients and members have the resources they need to stay safe in the fight against coronavirus.”

In unity and sorrow,

Martha Baker, RN
President, SEIU Local 1991


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