A hospital in Salem, Oregon, suspended one of its nurses after people complained about a video she had posted online. In the video, she claimed to still travel, forgo face masks, and allow her children to play with others.
Salem Health posted a message on its Facebook page on Saturday announcing that it had placed the nurse on leave. The hospital took action against the nurse after a number of people complained that she was violating social distancing guidelines. The hospital’s Saturday post said:
Yesterday, a nurse employed with Salem Health posted a video on social media which displayed cavalier disregard for the seriousness of this pandemic and her indifference towards physical distancing and masking outside of work. This video has prompted an outcry from concerned community members. We want to thank those of you who brought this to our attention and assure you that we are taking this very seriously. This individual does not speak for Salem Health and has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
We also want to assure you that this one careless statement does not reflect the position of Salem Health or the hardworking and dedicated caregivers who work here.
Salem Health believes we all need to do our part to protect the vulnerable and stop the rapid spread of COVID-19. This includes requiring staff, patients and visitors to follow guidance from the CDC and others about mask wearing and social distancing. The COVID pandemic is serious and requires a serious response. And at Salem Health we are very serious about our approach to COVID.
The nurse’s video, which she has since deleted, was posted on the platform TikTok. It featured a woman in hospital scrubs and a stethoscope with the caption “When my coworkers find out I still travel, don’t wear a mask when I’m out and let my kids have play dates,” according to BuzzFeed. The outlet reported that the nurse, Ashley Grames, worked in the hospital’s oncology department.
The usefulness of wearing masks in public to protect against the coronavirus is under dispute as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to update its guidance and more information is revealed through scientific studies. On November 8, the CDC updated its guidance on masks to say that though they are primarily used to prevent someone sick from infecting others, they do provide a layer of protection for the wearer.
“Masks also help reduce inhalation of these droplets by the wearer (‘filtration for personal protection’). The community benefit of masking for SARS-CoV-2 control is due to the combination of these effects; individual prevention benefit increases with increasing numbers of people using masks consistently and correctly,” the CDC website says.
Later in the month, a Danish study called into question the CDC’s guidance. A team of researchers found that masks provide no significant degree of protection for the wearer. As The Daily Wire reports:
A new study from Danish researchers found that mask-wearers were not protected from becoming infected by the novel coronavirus more than their mask-less counterparts, contradicting the mainstream consensus, including that of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).