Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center fined after nurse dies of COVID-19
The California agency that oversees workplace safety has issued a $57,120 fine following the death of a nurse who contracted the coronavirus.
Cal/OSHA has proposed penalties of $222,075 for Overhill Farms and $214,080 for its temporary employment agency, Jobsource North America.Hospital staff interviewed by The Times as well as text messages sent by Marcos and reviewed by The Times identified the patient she treated as a man who had COVID-19 and was exhibiting symptoms. Hospital administrators, however, say that the patient Marcos responded to did not have COVID-19, so it remains unclear how she contracted the virus.
The hospital “could not determine that her COVID-19 illness was contracted at work, especially given the ample controls the hospital has in place, including but not limited to universal masking, stringent screening of patients and staff, disinfection, ventilation,” they wrote in a statement. “Meanwhile, COVID-19 was and still is widespread in the community.”
AdvertisementThe Cal/OSHA investigators also cited the hospital for not reporting Marcos’ death to OSHA or the local health department and not notifying staff she worked with of their potential exposure.The investigation also identified a litany of other COVID-19 safety problems, including: improper reuse of N95 masks; not fit-testing the masks for staff to make sure they worked properly; not having enough disinfectant supplies for staff to clean high-touch surfaces; not having a complete plan for how to protect staff from aerosolized transmission of viruses and asking staff to hang their gowns on hooks outside patient rooms to be reused, which increased the possibility of contaminating the gowns with germs. headtopics.com
Jamie Court, head of nonprofit Consumer Watchdog, said that given the long list of violations and their severity, the fines don’t go far enough. Read more: Los Angeles Times »
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