Covid-19 Testing 04-27-20 575

Nurses store a test sample while working at the newly opened COVID-19 testing site at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. 

The National Nurses Association is objecting to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) proposed relaxation of rules that have helped control the spread of the coronavirus.

A Nurses Association co-president, registered nurse Jean Ross, said in a video posted on the group’s website that the new changes in the guidelines create confusion for health professionals and potential danger for health professionals working cases.

“How am I going to understand whether the person next to me is not masked because they are fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, refuse to be vaccinated, or have a condition that does not allow them to be vaccinated?” said Ross. “Only 36% of the country is fully vaccinated.  We are not out of the woods yet. It’s dangerous to take away any part of the plan — social distancing, wearing a mask and getting vaccinated.

She urged those who agree with her to sign an online petition to the CDC posted on the Nurses Association website.

Zenei Triunto-Cortez, a registered nurse who is president of the California Nurses Association, said that 600 people a day in the nation are dying from COVID-19, and more than half the population is not yet fully vaccinated. She said she applauded state health officials’ decision to keep conservative policies in place until June 15, and hopes they will continue afterward.

The nurses also have been concerned about the relative lack of vaccinations and higher death and hospitalization rates for minority groups that appear to be underserved.

Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, vice dean for population health and health equity at UCSF, told The San Francisco Chronicle late last week, “We should probably wait a few more weeks until as many people as possible can get vaccinated.”

The dashboard posted by the Alameda County Health Department shows higher percentages of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations for African Americans and Hispanic people, compared to people who are white only or Asian, a measurement of how hard Hispanic people and African Americans have been hit by the pandemic in the county.