Sherylon Hughes — a direct caregiver at the North Cascades Health and Rehabilitation Center in Bellingham, Washington — says at the start of their shift, workers are now required to report to the nurse on duty to have their temperature checked and fill out a short questionnaire about whether they’ve come in contact with anyone who is potentially infected.
“Everyone is just really concerned,” Hughes says. “There’s a lot of frustration among some of the workers. We feel like the people who are in charge haven’t really come up with a plan for what we are supposed to do.”
She and her coworkers have wondered what would happen if someone at her nursing home tests positive for the coronavirus. Will the facility shut down? Will all the workers be tested? Will they have to pay for it themselves?
“I’m very concerned about the health care workers, the people who are on the front lines,” says Hughes, who makes about $17 an hour. “The potential loss of livelihood is devastating, especially for caregivers. We do not make very much money at all, and none of us can afford to miss work for any extended period of time, and very few of us have healthcare that’s affordable.”