Workers at Dorn VA worry staff doesn’t have enough PPE

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COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – Some workers at the Veterans Affairs Columbia Regional Office say they are not happy with their working conditions and that there’s not enough personal protection equipment but administration at Dorn VA says the hospital’s supply chain is keeping up with the increasing need.

The American Federation of Government Employees Union at the VA Columbia regional office says the office has received many complaints about requests for leave of absence being denied.

“The biggest concern is taking this home to their family. And we have a lot of staff who are compromised with respiratory problems,” said Raymond Mitchell, the president of Local 1915.

Not having enough personal protection equipment is also an issue. Mitchell continued, “I had a doctor I talked to in the dental clinic she’s having issues with the VA and being a dentist she should change her mask daily. She gets one a week.”

Administration at Dorn VA issued this statement:

“The CDC has made clear not every healthcare worker will need the same quantity and type of PPE. Therefore, we are providing daily or weekly PPE to staff based on the number and types of patients they are seeing.”

Administration adds patients known to be at risk are immediately isolated to prevent spread.

But employees in the union say they still want more to be done to protect their families and are willing to protest for the VA to make those changes.

“Every time you go into the VA you risk the chance of getting the virus. And that’s a very serious virus.”

According to the employee’s union, more than 100 veterans have tested positive for the coronavirus. Dorn VA has yet to confirm those numbers. 7News has reached out for confirmation of exact number of cases.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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