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Custodians Feeling the Stress of Working Without PPE

April 2, 2020

As many employees spend the pandemic working from the comfort and safety of their homes, custodians and environmental services (EVS) staff leave their houses and risk their health to clean and disinfect areas that may be contaminated with the coronavirus.

During a pandemic, their jobs are harrowing enough. Throw in a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and a shortage of staff and these workers are genuinely concerned for their health and safety, NBC-TV reports.

The news report profiled several frontline workers who are dealing with PPE and staff shortages. A custodian at a medical center in Seattle, who disinfects restrooms and patient areas, explained how she is nervous to come home and spread germs to her family. One custodian at the medical center is home after exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and is awaiting test results.

Although schools have closed, the head custodian at a middle school in Columbus, Ohio, says he is still busy, disinfecting hundreds of Google Chromebooks for students who are homebound, as well as keeping the school building germ-free. He is joined by other custodians who are helping to prepare meals for students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, but they’re doing it with a third of their workforce after the school district laid of most of its custodial staff a few years ago to cut costs.

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