Following a protest on Thursday by nurses around the globe wanting stricter protections for health-care workers working with Ebola patients, on Friday, the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that the state would institute strict new standards. Doctors, nurses and other health workers will now have access to hazardous material suits, respirators, and isolation rooms when they treat Ebola patients, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The new standards were lauded by Chuck Idelson, a spokesman for National Nurses United, who said, “The governor and OSHA have really inspired nurses with their dedication to this. They’ve shown an absolute commitment to protecting patients and nurses.”
NNU and CNA Executive Director RoseAnn DeMo added, “These rules are a testament to the outspoken efforts of nurses who have repeatedly pressed for the highest level of mandatory safety precautions to protect nurses, patients, and the public. Nurses have raised their voices, and California has now listened, acted, and once again set a benchmark for the nation.”
Roughly 300 California acute-care hospitals will change their regulations to the new standards, which toughen the regulations issued in October, according to the Chronicle. The state’s new standards are more thorough than the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control.