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Coronavirus

El Paso Health Care Workers Urge People Not to Gather for Thanksgiving

November 20, 2020

EL PASO, Texas — Health care workers in the border city of El Paso, Texas, where the coronavirus pandemic has overwhelmed hospitals, are joining the nation’s top public health officials in urging people not to gather for Thanksgiving.

Surgical technologist Michelle Harvey said Thursday that personal protective equipment is in high demand at the hospital where she works. She and colleagues are frustrated that they often receive only one N95 respirator for 10- to 12-hour shifts and often have to reuse shoe covers.

There is a time-consuming process to request new equipment from locked storage units, Harvey said, and sometimes “the patient just doesn’t have enough time to wait for you to get new stuff.”

Harvey said she usually has 10 to 15 people in her home for the Thanksgiving holiday, but that this year she won’t.

“If you don’t take these precautions, this might be the last time,” said Harvey, 49. “This might be your last holiday with them.”

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