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Nurses Demand Feds 'Step It Up' To Protect Health Care Workers On Front Line Of COVID-19

CHICAGO (CBS) – An emergency room doctor for Methodist Hospital in Gary, Ind., tested positive for COVID-19. He is now in quarantine.

Meanwhile, nurses on the front line say they are unprotected because of the surgical mask shortage.

Members of National Nurses United stood in solidarity outside the University of Chicago Hospital to sound the alarm aboutthe lack of essential medical supplies they are missing

"I'm asking the CDC and the government to step it up," said Julie Dinovo, of National Nurses United.

The N-95 mask is the safest to protect nurses and doctors from the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but nurses say they can't get ahold of them.

The supplies are dwindling across the country. In some cases, nurses are re-using the same mask for days---others are improvising with what's around them. It's leaving healthcare workers here in Chicago feeling uneasy to step foot in a place where they know they're needed.

"We are absolutely ready to go in and help our patients and save lives," said registered nurse Rebecca Abraham.

"We will do what we have to do, but we're asking federal and state policymakers, please don't make us choose between our own lives and the lives of our patient."

The group outside the U. of C. is not placing blame on the hospital. They believe it falls back on CDC.

"They have basically put gasoline on dumpster fire and left us to put out the flames. the hospital i think just got caught in the middle," said Abraham.

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