HAYWARD (KPIX 5) — A small hospital in Hayward has implemented some new guidelines since the COVID-19 outbreak they think will reduce risk of infection, but some nurses at St. Rose Hospital believe it’s not enough.
The 50-bed community hospital has had some success bouncing back from an earlier coronavirus outbreak. A St. Rose Hospital spokesman said 37 workers had tested positive about three weeks ago.READ MORE: Torrential Rains Ease 'Exceptional' Drought Conditions In Marin County
As part of their new safety guidelines, the hospital has stopped admitting most new patients. However, there were nurses KPIX 5 spoke with who believe the facility can do more to better protect both workers and patients.
“It’s frustrating and it’s scary, because a lot of us have families that we live with,” said registered nurse Morgan Waggener.
She worried about getting infected while caring for patients. Many of the 37 infected workers worked in her medical/surgical/telemetry unit.
Waggener was not infected. She said she was disappointed she had to find out about the outbreak through co-workers and felt management could have done a better job of communicating with them.
“Now we’re allowed to, if we choose, to wear N-95 respirator throughout our shift. But It is still extended use, meaning you have to wear the same one through out the whole shift as long as it doesn’t get soiled,” said Waggener.
St. Rose spokesman Sam Singer said the facility is following CDC guidelines when it comes to medical work place safety. The CDC relaxed rules for protective gear because there still is not enough for single use. Nurses say that’s dangerous.READ MORE: State Could Ban Crab Traps as Dungeness Crab Season Approaches
“The surprise and the anger comes from people in charge not taking into account that we matter too as healthcare providers,” said Waggener.
In California, state health officials say roughly 11,000 healthcare workers have tested positive for COVID-19. 68 of those have died. In Alameda County, 323 workers have been infected.
“We no longer at this particular moment are accepting emergency patients, but we are accepting cardiac patients,” said Singer.
Singer said like most medical facilities, once they found out about an outbreak, they went with the process of quarantine, testing and increased cleaning of common areas like the break room to reduce transmission.
“Before you come to St. Rose, we require that patients who are incoming to take a COVID-19 test several days before they come in,” said Singer.
Daljit Basi, a veteran nurse who has worked at St. Rose for 26 years defended the hospital, saying it’s done a great job of protecting the workers.MORE NEWS: Stolen RV Pursuit Ends In Horrific San Ramon Crash
The hospital said about half of the infected workers have recovered and are cleared to come back to work. St. Rose officials didn’t know when the hospital would accept new patients again.