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Illinois Nurses Association Statement on COVID-19
Mar 12, 2020
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Illinois Nurses Association Statement on COVID-19

Illinois Nurses Association Statement on COVID-19

Members of the Illinois Nurses Association are angry at the gross incompetence of the federal government’s handling of COVID-19 pandemic. The lack of available face masks and shields, as well as shortages of up to one thousand other items on the Strategic National Stockpile, reveal the federal government’s poor planning and mishandling of this crisis. In addition, there has been a failure to calm panic and ensure that the equipment that is available is used appropriately. Because of this incompetence, nurses and patients may now be at greater risk of contracting COVID-19, as well as other viruses.

The effort from the federal government stands in stark contrast to state and local efforts. INA’s nurses feel there have been efforts by their facilities to prepare them to address the COVID-19 risk. Hospitals have conducted additional training and health care workers, including clinic and hospital RNs and LPNs, are working hard to address this public health crisis. Our nurses are working in virtually all health care settings, from screening at airports to emergency rooms and ICUs and are on the front line of the containment issues.

Our nurses have expressed concern about lack of access to health care among the public and workers without paid sick leave that might be forced to come to work ill. Resources from a federal, state and local level need to be provided to ensure that are enough tests available to meet the needs of people in Illinois. Addressing this public health emergency shows the current need for more resources for the public health system and a robust public education effort about how to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 to ensure safer and healthier patients.

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