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Nurses' Union Tells Gov. Baker How 'We Are Falling Short' During Coronavirus Pandemic

BOSTON (CBS) – The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) said in a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker there are several ways "we are falling short" during the coronavirus pandemic.

The organization thanked Baker for taking proactive steps such as requiring all hospitals to cancel all non-essential elective procedures, and reducing the number of people coming in and out of facilities.

"While progress is being made, it remains important to provide an honest assessment of where we are falling short," the MNA said in its letter to Baker.

The MNA said facilities still do not have enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and coronavirus tests are still not widely available.

Potentially infected people are still coming to hospitals that are not equipped to treat them in an appropriate setting.

Nurses are also concerned about the capacity at hospitals, the MNA said.

"After years of closures of beds, units and hospitals, and reductions in frontline health care staff, hospitals lack the space and staff to deal with an unprecedented outbreak of this highly contagious virus. This puts patients, health care workers, and the general public at risk," the group wrote.

Among a list of suggestions, the MNA said nurses should be provided with gloves, gowns, masks, goggles, and disposable face shields. The group also suggests designating specific areas to address suspected coronavirus cases.

There are currently 256 coronavirus cases in Massachusetts.

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