‘I’m severely worried’: Jackson Park Hospital employees concerned over facility’s COVID-19 response

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CHICAGO — Healthcare workers on the front lines at Jackson Park Hospital are saying they’re being put in harm’s way over the facility’s COVID-19 response.

Multiple employees have reached out to WGN to say they’re concerned the hospital is not following proper protocols. As a result, they are afraid even more people will be exposed to COVID-19.

“There’s no protection for the front line people,” an employee speaking under anonymity told us.” There are people not coming into work on purpose because there’s not protective gear.”

Employees said they felt compelled to speak out for the safety of their fellow co-workers, patients and the general public.

“The ER staff is not protected,” an employee said. “There are nurses and housekeepers who refused to go into rooms because they don’t have masks.”

Another said the hospital refused to test employees after an exposure.

“I’m employed in the emergency department and was recently exposed to a patient who was expected to have contracted the virus,” an email from an employee said. “Upon being exposed, the hospital not only refused to test a group of 12 of us, but other patients were also exposed to this particular patient.”

The workers WGN spoke with said Jackson Park does not provide gowns to workers. ER workers are not allowed to wear masks.

Workers on the front lines at most hospitals are worried due to a shortage of personal protective equipment.

During Saturday’s press conference, Gov. Pritzker urged healthcare professionals to donate protective equipment to those on the front lines.

WGN reached out to Jackson Park Hospital for comment and have not heard back.

There are now 753 cases of COVID-19 in the state.

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