Coronavirus: Local SEIU rep calling for more protective gear for health care workers

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A dwindling supply of protective masks and gowns has led to protests by nurses and other healthcare workers worried about their own health.

This group stood in solidarity outside Regional Medical Center in San Jose.

"We don't want to be spreading it ourselves, so we just want to have the right PPE's," says Emmanuel Bangan, RN.

The calls for more PPE - personal protective equipment - are growing louder every day.

More groups and lawmakers are now calling on President Trump to step in to help deliver N95 masks, protective masks, gloves and clothing to keep healthcare workers better protected.

SEIU 2015 represents nursing home workers and home care workers in the Valley.

"The shortage is so big that some folks don't have masks, they don't have gloves, they don't have the proper equipment to protect their clothing and our members are really nervous," says Maria Xiquin.

A nursing home in Yucaipa in Southern California is the latest facility where the Coronavirus has spread. Two senior citizens have died. Over 50 residents and six staffers have tested positive.

Local SEIU rep Xiquin worries about a similar scenario locally if more protective equipment can't be delivered.

"The less protective equipment that we have, the more the spread will be taking place," Xiquin said. "Can you imagine if we don't have healthcare workers? Can you imagine what would happen to those seniors?"

Those worries are growing throughout the healthcare community.

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