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Healthcare Workers Face Online Threats for Advising the Public – Occupational Health and Safety

Healthcare Workers Face Online Threats for Advising the Public

Healthcare Workers Face Online Threats for Advising the Public

Hospitals and healthcare facilities are working overtime to keep up with the increasing numbers of coronavirus patients coming in, and in some areas, hospitals are at near full capacity. While healthcare workers are trying to do their jobs and stay healthy with limited staff and PPE, many are facing threats and fearing for their own safety.

Cases of coronavirus are climbing in the United States. According to the COVID-19 Dashboard by John Hopkins University, the totaled confirmed cases in the U.S. are 2,600,727 (which, scientists presume, is an underestimate). Check out the New York Times article on case counts for each state—many of which are seeing large upticks in cases within the last two weeks.

Hospitals in states his hard by increasing case numbers are approaching capacity, and healthcare workers are increasingly concerned they will not be able to treat everyone safely—or at all. They are also worried that regular citizens are not taking the necessary precautions anymore to slow spreading.

While healthcare workers are working overtime, with limited PPE and in high-risk conditions treating COVID-19 patients, many are facing threats from people who are skeptical of their efforts. One NPR article delves into the stories of many healthcare workers who are fearing for their lives—not just because of the virus at work, but because others are prepared to use violence against them for doing their jobs.

Many healthcare workers are helping other members of their communities with COVID-19 responses. They often visit other community officials to provide science, data and tips on how to safely continue operations and keep infection rates low. However, healthcare workers have faced threats for providing even these public health services.

Lauri Jones, who works in her local health department, has been visiting local officials to “help steer the local response to the outbreak. She’s had to tell local businesses to stay closed, track down residents who could be infected and tell people to isolate or quarantine themselves.”

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