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Wexner Medical Center Nurses File Complaint Alleging 'Hazardous' Conditions

Ohio State Wexner Medical Center on March 30, 2020.
David Holm
Ohio State Wexner Medical Center on March 30, 2020.

The Ohio State University Nurses Organization filed a complaint alleging that thousands of workers at the Wexner Medical Center have experienced hazardous coronavirus exposure.

In a letter addressed to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the state's Division of Safety and Hygiene, president Rick Lucas argues that nurses and other health care workers are in imminent danger of infection and serious illness because of inadequate protection and training.

The letter points to an insufficient supply of personal protective equipment like N-95 masks and goggles. As a result, Lucas says 85 health care workers from the Wexner Medical Center have confirmed COVID-19 infections.

"Many have suffered serious illnesses and lost work time and may have also exposed or infected their families," the complaint reads.

Chief Clinical Officer Andy Thomas wrote in an emailed statement that they have yet to recieve a formal complaint from OSHA. 

"Since the beginning of the outbreak, we have been following the evolving guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the appropriate isolation of COVID-19 patients and the requirements for personal protective equipment for our staff," the statement says. "We continue to work tirelessly to purchase PPE and maximize usage of those we have."

Clare Roth was former All Things Considered Host for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU in February of 2017. After attending the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she returned to her native Iowa as a producer for Iowa Public Radio.