Worker at New York City hospital where nurses wear trash bags as protection dies from #coronavirus

The shortage of safety gear at one Manhattan hospital is so dire that desperate nurses have resorted to wearing trash bags — and some blame the situation for the coronavirus death of a beloved colleague.

A stunning photo shared on social media shows three nurses at Mount Sinai West posing in a hallway while clad in large, black plastic trash bags fashioned into makeshift protective garb.

One of them is even holding the open box of 20 Hefty “Strong” 33-gallon garbage bags they used to cloak themselves.



The caption includes such hashtags as #heftytotherescue, #riskingourlivestosaveyours and #pleasedonateppe, with the “ppe” referring to “personal protective equipment.”

Meanwhile, staffers at the hospital near Columbus Circle on Wednesday tied the lack of basic supplies there to the death of assistant nursing manager Kious Kelly, who tested positive for coronavirus about two weeks ago.

Kelly, 48, was admitted to Mount Sinai’s flagship hospital on the Upper East Side on March 17 and died Tuesday night, the workers said.

“Kious didn’t deserve this,” one nurse said. “The hospital should be held responsible. The hospital killed him.”

Another nurse described “issues with supplies for about a year now,” during which it got “to the point where we had to hide our own supplies and go to other units looking for stuff because even the supply room would have nothing most of the time.”

“But when we started getting COVID patients, it became critical,” the nurse said.

The nurse sources said they were using the same PPE between infected and non-infected patients and, because there were no more spare gowns in the hospital, they took to wearing trash bags to stop the spread of infection.

Enlarge ImageMount Sinai West coronavirus trash bags protective gear
Nurses at Mount Sinai West, where Kelly worked, are being forced to wear trash bags due to the lack of protective gear there.Facebook
“We had to reuse our masks, gowns and the [face] shield,” one nurse said. “We were told, ‘You get one for the entire time until this is over.’”

The nurse also said various items, including masks, wipes and Purell hand sanitizer, began “disappearing through the night.”

A spokesman for the hospital strongly disagreed, when contacted Wednesday, that they did not have the proper equipment and were not protecting their staff.

Another nurse described Kelly as “a brother to me.”

“He was willing to help others in need, especially in this coronavirus outbreak,” the nurse said.

Kelly’s younger sister, Marya Sherron of Indianapolis, confirmed his death to The Post and said he had informed her of his illness about 10 days earlier.

“He told me he had the coronavirus,” she said. “He was in ICU but he thought he was OK. He didn’t think it was serious as it was.”

Sherron — who said she “absolutely” believed her brother was infected at the hospital — said he had “severe asthma” but was otherwise healthy.

Kelly had trouble talking due to the disease, so the siblings communicated by text until his condition worsened and he stopped responding about a week ago, she said.

“I tried to get him several times but I was told by the doctors that he was on a ventilator,” she said.

Sherron said she was told on Monday that he might not pull through, and that he died about 11 p.m. Tuesday.

“We are broken,” she said.

Sherron also said she wanted the city to know “what an amazing person my brother was” and to “hold the powers that be accountable.”

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