CHARLOTTE, COUNTY — Over the last five months, nurses at Fawcett Memorial Hospital have told us they don't have the proper protective gear to treat COVID-19 patients.
Wednesday morning they held another rally and Wednesday afternoon they tell me things haven't changed.
"This is all about protecting patients and protecting nurse[s]," said June Phillips.
In fact, they say things have gotten worse.
"Nurses are leaving left, right and center," said Phillips, "Even on the non-COVID floor patients there are ending up with COVID. Where did they get it?"
Short-staffed, under-prepared and spreading the virus unintentionally. That's what nurses say is happening.
That includes one nurse who says she's now battling her second round of COVID-19. And she says she got it, both times, at work.
"I'm just thankful that I'm not one of the 169 nurses who have died," said Cynthia Butler.
I reached out to the hospital, who issued he following statement:
No, we do not have an outbreak. Fawcett Memorial Hospital is safely caring for our patients and our community as we continue to see a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases. As a result, we successfully reopened elective outpatient surgeries and procedures today and are hopeful we will be resuming inpatient elective surgeries soon. The safety of our caregivers remains a priority, as it has throughout this pandemic, and we continue to meet or exceed CDC standards recommended for crisis care.
I asked Butler if she felt that statement was accurate.
"I don't believe so," she said.
Both Butler and Phillps are calling on the hospital, once again, to do the right thing.
"We will continue to fight for proper PPEs so we can continue to protect our patients," said Phillips.
"They should be doing the maximum to protect their patients and nurses," said Butler.
The nurses also say they've now gotten OSHA involved to help tighten up safety standards in their workplace.