Patient at Laguna Honda Hospital tests positive for COVID-19, medical workers still need equipment

Six medical workers, and now a patient at Laguna Honda Hospital have now tested positive for COVID-19. Health care workers in San Francisco are saying they are ready to battle coronavirus, but say that they still don't have the equipment and backing they need.

Medical workers say they're on the frontlines of our nation's battle against coronavirus, and like any soldier they're saying they need the proper equipment.

Some medical workers at Laguna Honda and other care hospitals are saying they still aren't seeing the protective gear or the communication they need with management.

"We might not find out until days later that someone we had seen two, three days ago is now a person under investigation or is now an active COVID-19 client," said occupational therapist, Deanna Chan.

San Francisco's Department of Public Health has repeatedly said there are adequate supplies of personal protective equipment, at least for now. The difference now is that instead of workers simply being able to take the gear on demand, they now have to request the gear, so it can be accounted for.

The Department of Public Health has quarantined Laguna Honda after a sixth worker there tested positive for COVID-19

The department released a statement Wednesday reading in part: Laguna Honda leadership has worked actively and diligently to train staff on COVID-19 procedures, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), thorough cleaning of common spaces and resident rooms, and other prevention techniques.

 Deanna Chan, the occupational therapist at Laguna Honda, where a patient has tested positive for corona virus. The Department of Public Health says the patient has been isolated and an investigation into her contact history is underway.

Chan says getting access to protective gear is not as easy as the Department of Public Health would lead you to believe. "What's going on at Laguna Honda specifically is that we do have some masks available for health care workers," said Chan. "But, there still aren't guidelines on how we can get them. Where are we accessing them from and they're just giving out one box at a time."

San Francisco Supervisors Matt Haney and Shamann Walton introduced a resolution urging the Department of Public Health and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital to develop a comprehensive plan that would ensure protective gear for all medical workers, assure free coronavirus testing for those employees and make sure those workers can take time off if they develop the illness so they don't infect others, and can get back on duty as soon as possible.

"They're seeing their colleagues become infected by the virus," said Supervisor Haney. "They know what the solutions are and this cannot just be business as usual. We have to protect them, we have to have their backs, we have to provide them with the protective equipment."

The Department of Public Health says the number of confirmed cases now stands at 223, and have said consistently that things will get worse before they get better.

They are still urging all San Franciscans to adhere to the stay home order.