NAPA (CBS SF) — The National Union of Healthcare Workers accused a Napa hospital Tuesday of violating COVID-19 coronavirus safety protocols and failing to test hospital workers who may have been exposed to the virus.

According to the union, more than two dozen workers at Queen of the Valley Medical Center have been unable to obtain a coronavirus test after caring for a patient last week that later tested positive for the virus.

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The patient was admitted June 8 without being testing for COVID-19, according to the union. Health care workers caring for the patient allegedly did not receive protective equipment like N95 masks. At least seven union members and another 20 workers came into contact with the patient, according to the union.

Union officials also alleged that the hospital is violating safety standards by putting patients who have tested negative for COVID-19 in the same room as patients with undetermined test results. They said some patients are not required to wear a mask and COVID-19 patients are not being quarantined to prevent further exposure.

“We haven’t seen another hospital so flagrantly violate COVID-19 safety regulations or put its patients at risk by ordering caregivers potentially exposed to the coronavirus back to work without first being tested,” NUHW President Sal Rosselli said.

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Queen of the Valley spokeswoman Christina Harris said the hospital is following all current health and safety protocols as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health.

Harris confirmed that seven caregivers at the hospital were recently found to be at high risk for exposure to a coronavirus patient and said they were tested for the virus and have been placed on administrative leave pending the results of their tests.

“(T)he remaining caregivers who were not determined to be at a high risk for exposure were referred to Napa County Public Health for testing at no cost,” Harris said. “Since there was no evidence of a high-risk exposure event for these caregivers, they will not be granted paid time off unless they are found to have a positive test result.”


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