Union representing nursing homes makes plea for more PPE after 3 members die from Covid-19

Coronavirus

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Nearly 40 percent of coronavirus deaths have been in Connecticut’s nursing homes. Friday, the governor’s office is expected to release new statistics, specifically concerning the safety of residents and staff at those long term care facilities.

The union representing nursing home workers says at least three of their members have died from Covid-19 and others are infecting family members.

Related: New report on coronavirus-related deaths, cases at CT nursing homes to be released today

For nursing home workers, life since Covid-19 has been a nightmare. From working double shifts on coronavirus units, to wearing trash bags as protective gear, they say they’ve never been more terrified and they want the government to step up.

“All I could do is pray,” said Zina Bennett.

Zina Bennett works at St. Joseph’s Center in Trumbull. Thursday she brought her 12-year-old asthmatic son to the hospital for severe chest pain. He was tested for coronavirus. She says it’s a direct result of not having access to enough protective equipment.

“At our facility, our residents are not even separated by Covid-19. They are still mixed in,” said Bennett.

SEIU 1199, the union representing nursing home workers slammed President Donald Trump Friday, after they say three members died from Covid-19.

“He has the ability to invoke the Defense Production Act, which would produce hundreds of millions of units of personal protective equipment and would save lives, and he has not done that up until this point,” said Rob Baril, SEIU 1199 New England Union President .

The union says 399 people have died at the 69 nursing homes where they represent workers.

Governor Ned Lamont has taken some steps to separate coronavirus patients and supply facilities with personal protective equipment. But they say more needs to be done.

“Everybody in our building is not getting N-95s, they’re only being select about who they give it too and it’s difficult,” said Bennett. “I still go to work because I know these residents still need us. They’re our family. They don’t have their family there. We are their family and we have to stand by them.”

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