Daily Pilot: NUHW members reflect on hard-fought COVID-19 testing victory

COVID-19December 2, 2020

NUHW members have played an important part in securing weekly COVID-19 testing for hospital workers in California. At Fountain Valley Regional Hospital where Armando Rodriguez, a radiology technician, died of COVID-19 earlier this month, workers held three rallies calling for stronger COVID-19 protections, including regular testing for themselves and mandatory testing for their patients upon admission.

One day after the California Department of Public Health mandated weekly testing for all hospital workers and one-time testing for all patients upon admission, The Los Angeles Times‘ Orange County publication, the Daily Pilotpublished a story about the impact NUHW members had on achieving the first-in-the-nation testing requirements:

“I feel [it] is going to make an impact,” Josh Jesus, an MRI scan tech told the paper. “Patients coming in will know workers are being tested — and it’s going to help us feel a lot safer.”

The article noted that the new state directive is similar to a proposal put forth by NUHW and fought for by its members.

“There’s absolutely no doubt healthcare workers, as a result of this, will be safe,” Barbara Lewis, NUHW’s Southern California hospital division director told the paper. “And when healthcare workers are safe, that means patients are safe and communities are safer.”

The union leader praised the courage of employees who stood up and risked their jobs to expose inadequacies at their respective hospitals. “They knew what was happening and they knew it wasn’t good enough for patient care,” Lewis said. “When we talk about healthcare heroes — this was their heroic act.”

Read the full article at the Daily Pilot.