New York State nurses and other hospital workers are being exposed to “dangerous working conditions” amid the coronavirus pandemic because of “critical shortages” of personal protective gear, and they want “urgent action” from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to provide them with the equipment they need.
That’s the message in a blistering April 11 letter sent by the New York State Nurses Association’s director to Howard Zucker, the state health commissioner, obtained by The Post.
The letter contradicts comments made by Melissa de Rosa, secretary to Gov. Cuomo, at a press briefing last week, in which she said that hospitals were receiving stockpiled PPE equipment and that no health care facilities in the state would have to resort to “crisis conservation.”
That means the reusing of masks, hospital gowns and other equipment meant to guard against the spread of COVID-19.
“At this point most hospitals and nursing homes in the New York City metropolitan area, which is the national epicenter of the pandemic, continue to operate under ‘crisis conservation’ standards because they do not have enough PPE to distribute to our desperate staff,” wrote Patricia Kane, the executive director of the Nurses Association, the union which represents 42,000 frontline nurses in the state.
Frazzled funeral home directors are complaining about the invasion of the municipal body snatchers.
At least two Queens funeral directors say the city’s red tape is making their grim backlog of bodies even worse, as remains are sent to Randall’s Island for storage with little or no notice — and retrieving them has become nearly impossible.
Omar Rodriguez was scheduled to pick up two bodies last week from Elmhurst Hospital, only to find out the night before they’d been packed into two mobile morgues and taken to Randall’s Island.
But once there, workers on the island told him the bodies needed to go back to the hospital before they could be released, he said.
“I spoke to everybody and their mothers about how to get the bodies but no one had an answer,” he told The Post. “I was going back-and-forth. I told them I’m here, release the bodies to me. Eight hours later they were released on Randall’s Island.”