DOH orders emergency measures at Albany Med unit after COVID breakout

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) announced Tuesday that New York’s Department of Health (DOH) ordered immediate emergency measures inside Albany Medical Center’s oncology unit.

NYSNA, which represents over 40,000 frontline medical workers, said DOH ordered that no new patients enter the unit and no floating of nurses in or out. The oncology unit will then be closed “indefinitely” once the remaining patients safely leave. The union also said the emergency action comes in the wake of months of complaints by its members, including official complaints to the state and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the federal agency meant to regulate workplace safety.

NYSNA says dozens of patients, nurses, and other caregivers were infected with COVID-19 at three different outbreaks since November:

  • 54 infected
    • 28 staff
    • 26 patients
  • At least one individual has died of COVID complications
  • Several patients remain intubated

NYSNA says that nurse complaints have consistently called out:

  • Inadequate personal protective equipment
  • Not following infection controls, like patient cohort protocols
  • Ignoring frontline nurses

NYSNA also released a redacted version of a state complaint filed on January 18, in between the most recent outbreaks.

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