NPR

Think Health Care Workers Are Tested Often For The Coronavirus? Think Again

A majority of hospital nurses said they had never been tested for the coronavirus, according to a recent survey. Hospitals say they are simply following the CDC's guidance.
A nurse holds a candle during a vigil last month in Los Angeles for health care workers who have died from COVID-19. Source: Patrick T. Fallon

In a recent roundtable with Joe Biden, nurse Mary Turner told the president-elect something he found surprising:

"Do you know that I have not been tested yet?" said Turner, who is president of the Minnesota Nurses Association. "And I have been on the front lines of the ICU since February."

"You're kidding me!" Biden replied.

She wasn't kidding.

Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that health care personnel be tested if they are symptomatic or have a known exposure to the coronavirus. But treating COVID-19 patients while wearing personal protective equipment doesn't count as exposure that warrants testing.

A recent survey by National Nurses United, the nation's largest union of registered nurses, found just 42% of RNs in hospitals said they had ever been tested for the virus.

"It continues to amaze me that we are not doing this," said , an epidemiologist at the Harvard

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