Apr. 10--SCRANTON -- Health workers at four regional nursing homes on Thursday demanded the federal government step up to supply masks and gloves.
After their shift ended at the Gardens at Scranton on Adams Avenue, four health workers, members of the SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania union, told reporters that nursing home managers have done their best to get protective gear to keep them safe against COVID-19, but they're still short and need government help.
Colleagues and residents have become ill with the disease, and one worker is on a ventilator in an area hospital, they said.
"Hell, torture, we're scared to come to work," union leader Keshia Williams said, describing the past several weeks. "Most of my co-workers are out with COVID."
They spoke out as part of a national day of action, joining SEIU workers around the country imploring the government to help secure more protective gear and ventilators.
Other area nursing homes that participated include Dunmore Health Care Center, Mountain City Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Hazle Twp., and Guardian Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, Nanticoke.
At the Gardens, union members and the nursing home wouldn't say how many residents or staff members are sick.
Williams said between 60 and 70 employees work there, caring for 105 residents.
Melissa Yavorchak, administrator at the Gardens, confirmed at least one resident tested positive for COVID-19 about 11 days ago, despite extensive efforts the home took to protect residents.
President Donald Trump last week ordered mask maker 3M to halt exports and preserve millions of N95 respirators for U.S. health workers. The company had already ramped up production of the coveted mask in the weeks leading up to Trump's order.
TERRIE MORGAN-BESECKER, staff writer, contributed to this report.
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