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New York City nurse among those killed by COVID-19, more hospitals report safety equipment shortage

Posted: 9:23 AM, Mar 26, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-26 09:23:38-04
New York City nurse among those killed by COVID-19, more hospitals report safety equipment shortage

NEW YORK — As New York City serves as the epicenter for COVID-19 in the United States, many healthcare workers are on the front lines, including nurses.

Many of them have had to work despite shortages in safety gear, continuing to risk their lives as they battle the virus.

Kious Kelly, an assistant nursing manager at Mount Sinai Hospital, died Tuesday night after testing positive for the coronavirus, according to the New York Post.

Kelly had “severe asthma,” but was otherwise healthy his sister told the Post. She also said that she believes he contracted the sickness at the hospital.

“Today, we lost another hero - a compassionate colleague, friend and selfless caregiver,” the Mount Sinai Health System said in a statement. “We are deeply saddened by the passing of a beloved member of our nursing staff. The safety of our staff and patients has never been of greater importance and we are taking every precaution possible to protect everyone. But this growing crisis is not abating and has already devastated hundreds of families in New York and turned our frontline professionals into true American heroes.”

Nurses told the Post that hospitals lack basic supplies, which put many nurses, including Kelly, at risk to contract COVID-19.

President of the Academy of Nursing, Eileen Sullivan-Marx said that “it’s inevitable” to see an increase in deaths.

Sullivan-Marx says some hospitals have supplies and equipment needed for the next couple of weeks, while others say they’re short of supplies.

When asked about nurses in private and public hospitals, Sullivan-Marx said the difference is that there’s a surge of people coming in, particularly to public hospitals, which are typically densely populated.

This story was originally published by Dan Mannarino and Kristine Garcia on WPIX in New York.