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Nurses Ask Baker For New Advisory Group, Protections

The Massachusetts Nurses Association is asking Gov. Charlie Baker to establish an advisory group of front-line clinical staff with experience in caring for COVID-19 patients to help ensure safety as hospitals look to resume some version of their normal operations.

The union, in its May 11 letter to Baker, also called for passage of legislation that would create an "occupational presumption" for health care workers who contract COVID-19, saying several such bills have been filed in the state Legislature.

"In the healthcare facilities, the population we are exposed to is constantly changing and workers are exposed to the virus daily, yet we continue to have employers telling symptomatic workers that they are not eligible for workers compensation because they cannot prove they acquired the virus at their place of work," MNA President Donna Kelly-Williams wrote. "To have this workforce place themselves in harm's way to care for these patients and then be treated in this manner when they themselves become infected, is unconscionable and must be rectified."

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