PENNSYLVANIA — The state’s largest union of healthcare workers supports the Governor’s latest announcement and continued efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
As COVID numbers rise, hospitals are running out of beds, nursing homes are fighting to control the spread of the infection, and PPE supplies are dwindling. Caregivers are falling ill, burning out, and leaving the bedside, causing staffing shortages that threaten the ability of Pennsylvanians to receive the care they need.
While nurses and other caregivers struggle every day to care for patients and residents and continue to worry about their own health and safety, too many people are not taking the precautions and simple steps that will literally save lives and ensure our healthcare system can continue caring for us throughout the pandemic.
“We appreciate Governor Wolf’s administration and Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine for their health-centered approach to beating the pandemic,” said Matthew Yarnell, President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania. “The only way for us to end the devastating effects of COVID – the loss of life, the illness, and the economic impact on hardworking people – is to stop the spread of the virus. We must all do whatever it takes to protect each other and move forward together.”
“As soon as a bed opens, it’s filled again,” said Mitchell Davis, RN, of Pittsburgh. “We need support from the community, support from the government, and support from our employers to be able to fight this and win.”
Today’s announcement is an important step, but more needs to be done. “We need all of our elected leaders to protect the health of Pennsylvanians,” continued Yarnell. “It doesn’t matter who we are, where we came from, or what we look like. We all want the same things for ourselves and our families – to be safe, healthy, and have a strong future. To do that, we must care for each other and end this pandemic.”
In light of Governor Wolf’s announcement that he has tested positive for COVID-19, Yarnell adds, “On behalf of the 45,000 caregivers of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, I wish Governor Wolf a quick recovery and good health.”
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania is the state’s largest and fastest-growing union of nurses and healthcare workers, uniting nearly 45,000 nurses, professional and technical employees, direct care workers, and service employees in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home and community- based services, and State facilities across the Commonwealth. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania members are committed to improving the lives of health care workers and ensuring quality care and healthy communities for all Pennsylvanians.