VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Congresswoman Elaine Luria met with union representatives and healthcare workers Monday to discuss the shortage of Hampton Roads’ personal protection equipment supply during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some workers say racial injustice is occurring as home health care workers, mostly women of color, are left with little or no protection as they care for homebound patients during the pandemic.
The conference call meeting on Monday, April 6 provided home care workers with the opportunity to share their experiences while giving direct, hands-on care. The discussion also focused on how the shortage of protective equipment is putting them at risk daily.
During the call, Luria heard from three women who say they desperately need protective gear so that they don’t pass along the coronavirus to their own family members.
One home health care worker says she has to wash disposable gloves that are being re-used to care for patients.
Another told Luria she just doesn’t “understand why we are not considered front line workers. We can’t stay home — we have to work.”
The congresswoman said she will look into ways to direct supplies to home health care workers.
Luria also discussed support within the CARES Act for PPE and her efforts to date to advocate for increased PPE production, according to communications officials in her office.
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