OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Bay Area nurses are joining nationwide May Day actions Friday, demanding COVID-19 protections for all health care workers.

They want their employers and the government to step up when it comes to providing sufficient protective equipment.

Outside of Kaiser Oakland Friday morning, nurses were demanding the highest level of protections, including powered air-purifying respirators, and single use of N95 masks and coveralls that incorporate head coverings, shoe coverings and gloves.

They say their demands are underscored by the fact that more than 60 nurses across the country have died of COVID-19, although they say that because of a lack of testing, the number is surely higher.

Registered nurse Katy Roemer told KPIX 5 the majority of nurses in California are still limited to one protective mask per day. The nurses will be holding protests all day at hospitals in Oakland, Santa Clara, and San Francisco.

Kaiser Permanente issued a statement in response to the nurses demands.

Kaiser Permanente has extensive experience in managing highly infectious diseases, well before this pandemic,” the statement read in part. “Our care teams have the training and expertise to screen and treat patients effectively, while protecting our staff, and safely provide the right level of care for patients affected by this virus.”

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