Nurses at UCI Medical Center hold vigil for those affected by COVID-19 and demand protective equipment

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In between their shift changes Monday night, healthcare workers at UCI Medical Center in Orange held a candlelight vigil for all those affected by the novel coronavirus, including their own patients and staff.

“We gather here tonight to honor all healthcare workers who have been infected with COVID-19,” Shella Soriano, a registered nurse, said at the vigil.

The hospital workers says they are not being provided with adequate protective gear, such as N95 masks.

“Our N95s continue to be locked up. It is difficult for us to obtain the N95 in a timely manner…” Maureen Berry, another registered nurse, said.

The healthcare workers say their safety should be a priority when treating coronavirus patients.

Union representative Enrique Trinidad said many healthcare workers are afraid to go home after their shifts.

“I know that coming to work is a big challenge, but [the] scariest part is going home…” he said. “Am I going to get something that will potentially hurt my family?”

In a statement to KTLA, John Murray of UCI Medical Center said, “No health care workers at UCI Medical Center have tested positive as a result of exposure to Covid-19 positive patients. The reuse of N95 masks is encouraged only under appropriate conditions consistent with CDC and Cal/OSHA guidelines.”

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