ROCHESTER, Minn. - The president of the Minnesota Nurses Association sent a letter to Governor Walz asking for more personal protective equipment for healthcare workers across the state.
Mary Turner said just because businesses are reopening and it seems like we're getting back to normal, the coronavirus isn't going to disappear. She said at the beginning of the pandemic, medical professionals were most worried about senior citizens and those with underlying health conditions. But in the past week with protests and more people getting out in the public, Turner is seeing more 20 and 30-year-old's infected.
Turner is making a plea to Governor Walz for more PPE to protect nurses if another surge were to happen. "If we take away our ability to react to the COVID, if it gets worse and especially if fall comes and flu season hits again, we're gonna be left like sitting ducks, the front line healthcare workers," Turner explained.
Turner shared the reality healthcare workers, including herself, are facing right now. "When I start to see people that I worked with for a whole decade, see them one weekend then they're not there the next weekend and it's because they weren't protected... the gloves are off," said Turner. "The gloves are off."
Governor Walz extended the peacetime emergency for 30 days to include making more PPE available, but Turner said they're already rationing equipment so she's worried it won't be enough if another surge does happen. She said at least 10 to 15% of COVID-19 cases are healthcare workers, so more PPE would help flatten that curve.