Coronavirus: Nurses rally outside USC Keck Hospital over resources to fight pandemic

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Nurses gathered outside USC Keck Hospital on Wednesday morning making it known they weren't happy.

Members of the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United say they're concerned after learning the CDC has weakened its federal guidance over measures to help contain the coronavirus pandemic.

"We don't feel like we are being provided with the resources we need to adequately protect ourselves, our patients and our visitors," said nurse Laura Meraz.

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The CDC says its aggressively responding to the global pandemic of COVID-19 by helping prepare first responders and healthcare providers with guidance on infection control and hospital preparedness.

"Nationwide, I do believe it is a big deal. We are worried about all nurses, front line workers, and being exposed to the virus and getting sick ourselves," said ICU nurse James Vargyas.

Vargyas says as the pandemic expands, he and fellow nurses at USC Keck believe standards for their personal protective equipment have been rolled back and rationed.

"We don't want to run out when we need it, so nationwide we are worried that supplies will become exhausted," Vargyas said.

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The hospital told ABC7 that's not the case, saying all necessary safeguards have been implemented to include sufficient supplies, and educating staff on what to do if they're exposed or exhibit symptoms.

Still, the nurses say they want more to be done to protect them and those they care for.

"We need to be here to take care of these patients, and if we are not protected, if we are not well, we can't do that," Meraz said.
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