U.S is not prepared for Coronavirus

As U.S. Preps For Coronavirus, Health Workers Question Safety Measures, Maureen Dugan, a veteran nurse at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, where two coronavirus patients were transferred this month , worries that they are not properly prepared.

The University of California San Francisco is one of the premier hospitals in the country, but Dugan says her frustrations are mounting because she says her employer offered little notice or training to those caring for the infected patients.

"We want to do the best. We work extremely hard to do the best for our patients, so don't set us up to fail," Dugan says. "It's not only nurses — it's all the other staff. It's nursing assistants; it's transport. Every staff member is worried."
Coronavirus is yet to sicken American health workers, as it has in China. But deaths of hospital workers in Asia have heightened scrutiny of the U.S. health care system's ability to protect people on the front line.

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Dugan says the medical community wasn't fully prepared for previous viruses, like SARS and Ebola — and she's concerned that lessons learned are not being applied today. For example: The protective garments provided, she says, leave the wearer's neck exposed.

 World health officials warn that COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, may enter a new phase in the U.S. at some point. Thus far, U.S. hospitals have been able to plan for transfers of incoming patients whose condition is already known. That's very different from a spreading outbreak, where sick people walk in off the street — a far more difficult scenario for health care workers and the public they treat.


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