COVID-19

The MNA is committed to keeping members educated about what is happening both locally and nationally with the COVID-19 pandemic -- from workplace safety measures and best practices for keeping frontline caregivers safe, to current communications from the CDC and state DPH. This page will be updated continuously, with the newest and/or most important information listed at the top.

Questions about what you are seeing, hearing, and/or experiencing in the workplace? Email mnainfo@mnarn.org.

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News &Updates

From the DPH: May 26, 2020

From the MNA: May 26, 2020

  • Massachusetts Nurses Association Synopsis of DPH Plan to Allow Reopening of Services in Acute Care Hospitals: On Monday, May 18, 2020 Governor Baker detailed a four-stage plan for the full reopening of the Massachusetts hospitals following the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan’s health and safety standards are centered on recommendations aimed at preventing the spread of the virus through social distancing, handwashing, and hygiene protocols, staffing and operations, and cleaning and disinfecting. The plan also includes guidance from DPH “for how acute care hospitals[1] can begin in-person provision of a limited number of additional, necessary services and procedures without jeopardizing health system capacity or the public health standards that are essential to protecting healthcare workers, patients, families, and the general public.” This synopsis highlights key aspects of the plan for MNA members as well as all nurses and healthcare professionals, who will be providing care during this crucial reopening period. The, MNA will be working closely with its members to monitor this process and to ensure that hospital organizations remain cognizant of the health and safety standards for healthcare practices that are mandated by DPH in order to protect residents and the workforce that is providing essential healthcare. Visit here for the MNA's complete synopsis.

For quick access to the DPH Guidance document, visit here.

From the MNA: May 26, 2020

  • Boston City Council Support for Occupational Presumption:
    "Order for Public Hearing on Need for Occupational Presumption for Essential Workers" available here. And "Letter to Governor Baker Calling of Occupational Presumption Legislation" available here.

From DPH: May 21, 2020

  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health Guidance Reopen Approach for Acute Care Hospitals. Available here.

From the Mass. COVID-19 Command Center: May 23, 2020

From DPH: May 19, 2020

  • Details from the Department of Public Health’s published plan for reopening Health and Human Services on nurse-to-patient ratios and elective invasive procedures. More here.

From DPH: May 19, 2020

  • The Department of Public Health has published detailed plans for the reopening of Health and Human Services in MA. More information here.

From the NIOSH: May 18, 2020

  • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is aware that many different NIOSH-approved filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) models distributed during the COVID-19 response were stockpiled for prolonged periods of time.These FFRs are made using different materials (e.g., filtering media and strap material), which may age or degrade over time and become damaged. Learn more here.

From the DPH: May 18, 2020

From the National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel: May 14, 2020

  • Tips on preserving skin integrity with the extensive use of face masks. Available here.

From the DPH Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences: May 14, 2020

  • The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has issued guidelines for reporting cases of Pediatric Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome. Available here.

From Medscape: May 14, 2020

From the Mass. DPH Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences: May 13, 2020

  • Testing of Persons with Suspect COVID-19: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued a letter detailing eligibility for COVID testing and the status of serological testing (noting that most tests currently available have not received FDA Emergency Use Authorization [EUA]). More here.

From the MNA: May 12, 2020

  • In this week's COVID-19 video: Attorney Charlie C. Donoghue discusses Workers' Compensation and COVID-19. View here.

From the MNA: May 12, 2020

  • In recognition of National Nurses Week, the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the “International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife,” and the unprecedented challenges facing nurses and healthcare professionals, the Massachusetts Nurses Association has issued “A Nurse’s Pledge for the 21st Century.” View here.

From the MNA: May 12, 2020

  • MNA's May 11 letter to Governor Baker regarding requirements for successful return to normalized operations for healthcare facilities. Available here.

From the MNA: May 12, 2020

  • This week's attachment to the MNA's May 11 letter to Governor Baker. Full letter available above and here.

From the Mass. DPH Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences: May 11, 2020

From The Center for Investigative Reporting: May 11, 2020

  • "31,000 and Counting." A lobbying campaign driven by scarcity pushed the CDC to relax protective gear guidelines. Now tens of thousands of health workers are infected.A lobbying campaign driven by scarcity pushed the CDC to relax protective gear guidelines. Now tens of thousands of health workers are infected. Full article here.


     

From the MNA: May 11, 2020

  • If you, or anyone you know (patients included), have experienced any adverse events or side effects from N95 masks that have been decontaminated using Hydrogen Peroxide Vapors, please file an incident report, and also report these reactions to your Occupational Health Department, the MNA, and to MedWatch - The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program. Prompt reporting of adverse events can help the FDA identify and better understand the risks associated with medical devices.
  1. Complete and submit the report online
  2. Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178.

From the MNA: May 11, 2020

  • MNA Retirees Call for Safe Personal Protective Equipment for Frontline Caregivers Battling COVID-19 in Video Released During National Nurses Week. More here.

From the Mass. COVID-19 Command Center: May 8, 2020

From the Office of Gov. Baker: May 7, 2020

  • Many questions are arising regarding professional licenses and certifications. On March 18th, Governor Baker signed an emergency “Order Extending the Registration of Certain Licensed Professionals." More here, or for additional questions visit BORN COVID-19 Licenses.

From the MNA: May 7, 2020

From the MNA: May 6, 2020

  • During National Nurses Week 2020, MNA Nurses and Healthcare Professionals Launch Video Campaign to Thank Public and Urge Social Distancing. More here.

From the MNA: May 5, 2020

  • Helpful resources reagrding temporary unemployment insurance, workers' compensation, and the CARES Act, including:
  1. MNA Members’ Rights to COVID-19-Related Temporary Unemployment Insurance and Workers' Compensation
  2. The CARES Act and Unemployment: Help when COVID-19 stops you from working
  3. Your rights to Workers Compensation for healthcare workers sick with COVID19
  4. Filing a New Unemployment Claim: A Step-by-Step PowerPoint

From the MNA: May 5, 2020

  • In this week's COVID-19 video, MNA executive director Julie Pinkham discusses guidelines on steps that must be taken to ensure safe patient care as hospitals reopen for elective surgeries and care for non-COVID patients during the next phase of the pandemic response. View here.

From the MNA: May 5, 2020

From the MNA: May 5, 2020

  • Attachment to this week's letter to Governor Baker: A list of ongoing issues and recommendations associated with the Commonwealth’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) raised in previous communications. Available here.

From the Mass. COVID-19 Command Center: May 5, 2020

From the MNA: May 4, 2020

From the MNA: May 4, 2020

  • The CARES Act and Unemployment: Help when COVID-19 stops you from working. On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. More here.

From the Mass. Division of Insurance: April 17 (posted here on May 4, 2020)

From the MNA: April 30, 2020

  • Background on Use of KN95 Respirators When N95s Aren't Available: Due to the shortage of N95s and the disrupted supply chain, the MNA requested all credenaling and cerficaons associated with the manufacturing and material used in the producon of KN95 masks prior to the actual purchase. We did this to ensure we were purchasing the best product available at the me. This informaon was reviewed by a Cerfied Industrial Hygienist who helped MNA conclude that in fact the material was FDA approved and the best product we could purchase. More here.

From the MNA: April 30, 2020

  • MNA members have prepared this powerful video on the current state of PPE for nurses, how this PPE fails to meet appropriate standards, and how this situation supports the need for the legislature to pass legislation that grants nurses the presumption that any exposure to COVID-19 is due to occupational exposure, thus granting nurses to access to proper compensation and support. More here.

From the MNA: April 29, 2020

From the MNA: April 29, 2020

From the MNA: April 28, 2020

From the MNA: April 28, 2020

From the MNA: April 28, 2020

  • Weekly COVID-19 update from the MNA's executive director, Julie Pinkham. Topics include: continued distribution of PPE by the MNA, worker's compensation, and coping with the surge. View here.

From the Mass. Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development: April 27, 2020

From HIPPO Education: April 27, 2020

From Buoy Health: April 25, 2020

  • The COVID-19 “Symptom Checker” is now connected with the new Contact Tracing project, a collaboration between Partners’ in Health and DPH.  The website enables MA residents to assess their symptoms and find the right care for COVID-19.  It’s a first in the nation, complex, well thought-out project with hundreds of people already on board, trained and involved in tracing contacts. More here.

From the New York Times: April 23, 2020

From the State of Massachusetts: April 22, 2020

From the MNA: April 21, 2020

From the MNA: April 21, 2020

  • Weekly COVID-19 update from the MNA's executive director, Julie Pinkham. Topics include: Achieving proper mask fit, COVID testing for healthcare workers, and the importance of colleague camaraderie during the pandemic. View here.

From the National Institute of Health: April 21, 2020

  • NIH COVID 19 Treatment Guidelines. These Treatment Guidelines have been developed to inform clinicians how to care for patients with COVID-19. Because clinical information about the optimal management of COVID-19 is evolving quickly, these Guidelines will be updated frequently as published data and other authoritative information becomes available. More here.
     

From EM Daily: April 20, 2020

From the NEJMvideo: April 20, 2020

  • The video below, the first of two that the MNA recommends for viewing, shows steps for prone positioning of patients with ARDS who are receiving mechanical ventilatory support in the intensive care unit.

From Rush University Medical Center: April 20, 2020

  • Some COVID-19 patients are experiencing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and require mechanical ventilation. While a patient is on a ventilator, Rush staff use a technique called “prone positioning” to improve oxygenation. Rush has developed a four-phase checklist to facilitate the process of placing a patient into the prone position. The process consists of six staff members working together to correctly place a patient into position.This video (below) is the second on this issue that the MNA recommends for viewing. The related manual that is highlighted in the video is available here.

From Rush University Medical Center: April 20, 2020

From ScienceDaily: April 20, 2020 (originally published March 24, 2020)

From MassCOSH.org: April 19, 2020

From FrontlineMA.org and the office of the Attorney General: April 18, 2020

Frontline workers are working around the clock and are exposed to patients every day. Alternative accommodations help limit the risk of transmission to families of frontline workers. Individual health care workers and first responders who are seeking accommodations should reach out to their department chief or hospital team. The Attorney General’s Office is working with stakeholders to develop additional housing options and will continue to update this page with new information. More here.

From Suzanne M. Slattery, Ph.D., and Claire Slattery: April 17, 2020

Traumatic stress involves both mind and body responses. It is our natural and healthy way of coping with extreme stress and overwhelming feelings. Right now, nurses and other healthcare professionals are experiencing acute and post-traumatic stress from working with patients who are critically ill, becoming permanently disabled and dying.

Acute traumatic stress responses follow the immediate aftermath of exposure to traumatic events and may involve anxiousness, tearfulness, irritability, and anger and/or at times feeling avoidant, flat, shut down or distant. Signs of posttraumatic stress (PTSD) include repeated, disturbing images or thoughts of the trauma; loss of interest in usual activities you enjoy; becoming easily startled or jumpy; feeling distant from others; avoidance or feeling numb; worrying about the safety of self or loved ones; and persistent arousal such as heart palpitations, sweating and/or sleep disturbances.

Getting help and support can help reduce traumatic stress responses. Focusing on both mind and body approaches can help increase healing from trauma. More here.

From the MNA: April 15, 2020

From Dr. Kevin Kavanagh: April 15, 2020

  • Dr. Kevin Kavanagh from Health Watch USA℠ discusses the United States' defunding of the World Health Organization, along with food safety with COVID-19. In addition, insights into when to open the economy. View his related YouTube video here.

From Sen. Diana DiZoglio: April 14, 2020

From the Methuen/Haverhill Legislative Delegation: April 14, 2020

From the MNA: April 14, 2020

From the MNA: April 14, 2020

From the MNA: April 13, 2020

  • Letter to Attorney General Maura Healey Regarding Closure of ICUs by Steward Healthcare: "We write to ask for your intervention in these extremely urgent situations: In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, Steward Health Care indefinitely closed the Intensive Care Units (ICU) at Nashoba Valley Medical Center (NVMC) in Ayer and Holy Family Hospital’s Merrimack campus (the former Merrimack Valley Hospital) and Cape Cod Health Care (CCHC) announced the permanent closure of maternity and pediatrics at Falmouth Hospital.  All were shuttered without the required 90-day notice to state and local authorities, and without the owner’s submission of plans and public hearings that are explicitly required under 105 CMR 130.122. The attached letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sudders provides more detail." More here.
     

From Reuters Health Information: April 12, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that it was looking into reports of some COVID-19 patients testing positive again after initially testing negative for the disease while being considered for discharge. South Korean officials on Friday reported 91 patients thought cleared of the new coronavirus had tested positive again. Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a briefing that the virus may have been "reactivated" rather than the patients being re-infected. More here.

From the MNA: April 10, 2020

  • COVID-19 Pulmonary, ARDS and Ventilator Resources.To date, the most serious reported symptoms from COVID-19 are pulmonary complications. “COVID-19 Pulmonary, ARDS and Ventilator Resources” quickly provides learners with the knowledge and resources to provide essential care to ICU patients with coronavirus. To support you and other nurses who need to cross train to care for patients with COVID-19, AACN is making this eLearning course available for all nurses, at no charge, to provide vital resources during this challenging time. More here.

From the MNA: April 10, 2020

  • Position Statement on the Deployment of Students in COVID-19 Healthcare Environment. "The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA), which represents nurses and health professionals working on the front lines of the global COVID-19 pandemic, is asking governmental and academic leadership to reflect upon the following concerns prior to making a determination related to mobilizing student nurses and/or the granting of temporary licensure to senior students to staff our acute care healthcare settings." More here.

From the U.S. Department of Labor: April 8, 2020

From the Mass. Department of Public Health: April 8, 2020

  • Crisis Standards of Care: Planning Guidance for the COVID-19 Pandemic. "Crisis care must be the best care it can be in light of the circumstances and available resources. The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for the triage of critically ill patients in the event that the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic creates demand for critical care resources that outstrips the supply." Please note that it is the MNA's formal position that nurses, the caregivers on the front lines, must always be given a voice and be included in the decision-making process around crisis standards of care.

From the MNA: April 8, 2020

  • MNA Seeks Nurses Willing to Keep Video Journal: For a History of the Crisis and for Emotional Health. The MNA is looking for nurses who would be interested in keeping a video journal to document and share what they are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are interested in sharing your video journal entries and potentially having them posted on our Facebook page or our COVID-19 page for others to see, feel free to email them to Erin Servaes at eservaes@mnarn.org. Be assured, nothing will be posted or shared without your final review and approval. You are all true heroes and have stories that can benefit each one of us.

From the MNA: April 7, 2020

From the MNA: April 7, 2020

From the MNA: April 7, 2020

From the Mass. EOHHS: April 6, 2020

From the Mass. Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality: April 6, 2020

From the MNA: April 6, 2020

  • The MNA has launched "Meditations for Nurses," because we recognize the toll the COVID-19 crisis is taking on you, both personally and professionally. The seemingly insurmountable obstacles that you encounter at work affect you mental health, your physical health, and your emotional health. We also know, as do you, that it will likely be a very, very long time before we return to our “normal” lives. Nobody, but especially not our nurses, should be expected to pack all that away each day and ignore their own wellbeing. With that reality in mind, we are providing the following meditation resources to help you gain a sense of calm and momentary relaxation whenever you need it most, day or night.

From the Nurses' Health Study II: April 3, 2020

  • It has been challenging to track rates of COVID-19 infection. Nurses' Health Study II, is trying to tackle this issue, and invites nurses to help address this challenge by taking 1-3 minutes per day to log their daily health status on a new COVID-19 symptom tracker that they have developed in collaboration with physicians and epidemiologists at King’s College and software engineers at Zoe, a health data science company. More at https://secure.campaigner.com/csb/Public/show/c3i2-1wdu0e--pd485-6wiwvux7

From MNA: April 3, 2020

From Mass. EOHHS: April 3, 2020

From the Joint Commission: March 31, 2020

From the MNA: March 31, 2020

From the MNA: March 31, 2020

From the MNA: March 31, 2020

  • MNA executive director Julie Pinkham reviews all things PPE in this video, and explains what PPE practices and protocols will keep nurses, healthcare staff, patients, and the public the safest.

From the Science Daily: March 29, 2020

More evidence supporting why N95s must always be worn by ALL nurses and other hospital staff who are part of a patient's care team. As we've said before, we must now assume that everyone in the hospital is contagious, and that includes people who have "recovered." Visit massnurses.org/Covid-19 for continuously updated information that is essential to your practice and your wellbeing.

From The TODAY Show: March 29, 2020

  • A powerful video from the TODAY Show that recognizes the sacrifice of the dedicated RNs, doctors, and first responders who are working day and night in the fight against COVID-19

From mass.gov: March 28, 2020

Please note that high-risk individuals, including people who are immunocompromised and/or have diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or may be pregnant, are likely NOT good candidates for this opportunity. Appropriate PPE that meets scientific standards is NOT available, so it is important that those offering their services be in good health given the potential for exposure and illness.

From BNN, via YouTube: March 27, 2020

  • Video Nurses Raise Alarm for More Protective Gear

Donna Kelly-Williams, MNA president, in her remote interview with BNN.

From the Mass. DPH: March 26, 2020

From the MNA: March 26, 2020

From the MNA: March 25, 2020

From Dr. Charlene Irvin Babcock, via YouTube : March 26, 2020

  • Video on "How to Use One Ventilator to Save Multiple Lives During the COVID-19 Epidemic"

While we hope such choices do not come to pass, it is important, in these unprecedented times, that we prepare ourselves with the best options to give as many patients in need of vent-support the best possible chances for treatment, care, and survival. Thinking ahead and preparing for the likelihood that a surge in patients is going to result in a significant shortage of ventilators, learning how to use one ventilator on multiple patients at a time is both appropriate and compassionate.

From NSO: March 26, 2020

From Medscape: March 26, 2020

From FDA MedWatch: March 26, 2020

From Infection Control Today: March 26, 2020

There is mounting consensus that ACE inhibitors may be a primary driver of the severe symptoms. The concerns were originally raised in the Lancet. ACE inhibitors up regulate (increase) the ACE2 receptor. This is the receptor the COVID-19 virus uses to attack the lungs.

From the New England Journal of Medicine: March 25, 2020

From the University of Minnesota, CIDRAP: March 25, 2020

From the mass.gov: March 24, 2020

From CovidActNow.org: March 24, 2020

From the MNA: March 24, 2020

  • Video on MNA's Current COVID-19 Recommendations

Assume everyone in the hospital is COVID-positive; PPE updates; safe housing and parking for hospital staff; the reality about those cloth masks; donation considerations; and more.

From the MNA: March 24, 2020

From the Office of Governor Baker: March 23, 2020

From the Mass. Director of the Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality: March 22, 2020

From the MNA: March 20, 2020

The MNA believes that due to this unique virus that has already spread throughout our communities, all RNs working in a hospital and all visiting nurses should be wearing surgical grade N95 masks with a face shield. If we are to stop the rapid spread of the virus this step needs to be taken now. It will do no one any good if in three weeks we have saved N95 masks, but 40% of the RNs are ill and cannot care for patients. Guidance on donning and doffing can also be accessed and printed from here: Donning PDF and Doffing PDF

From the MNA: March 19, 2020

From the MNA: March 19, 2020

  • Video on MNA's COVID-19 Recommendations

From WIRED: March 19, 2020

From the MNA: March 18, 2020

From the MNA: March 18, 2020

From The New England Journal of Medicine: March 17, 2020

From The Boston Globe: March 17, 2020

From the Mass. Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality: March 16, 2020

the MNA: March 14, 2020

From the CDC: March 13, 2020

From the WHO: March 12, 2020



 

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