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Health Workers For Elderly Lack Gear To Prevent Coronavirus Spread

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An elderly patient in Buenos Aires, Argentina, June 12, 2017. Many U.S. nursing home workers don't have protective gear to prevent COVID-19 spread. (Eitan Abramovich/AFP via Getty Images)
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It's a situation primed for hard decisions. Health workers like occupational therapists provide care to elderly patients who are especially susceptible to the coronavirus.

Often these workers go from house to house or room to room in a skilled nursing facility to see their patients. But with personal protective gear largely reserved for hospital staff, many home health workers are afraid they may be inadvertently spreading the virus.

“If I could wear personal protective equipment every single day with every single patient, that would be ideal,” said Wesley Chen, an occupational therapist in Los Angeles.

“But that is just a dream,” she said.

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That leaves health workers like Chen to decide between a paycheck or risking doing more harm than good.

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