The nationwide PPE shortage for health care workers has one central New York nurse pleading for help.

Shatasha Edwards works at Oneida Center in Utica, where she says they are in desperate need of personal protective equipment. "Our facility, as well as others, has been impacted by the shortage so much so that we are required to use one surgical mask a day."

Regulations require masks to be changed every hour. Gowns would normally be changed before leaving a contaminated room. "We are now being asked to wear the the same gown to care for all contaminated or possibly patients."

Photo Credit - Shatasha Edwards

Edwards, wearing a plastic bag for a gown and a mask, held up a sign asking everyone to send PPE. "This is a plea for any and all help."

There's a desperate need for gloves, gowns, hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray, according to Edwards. "We need PPE to do what we do best, save lives. We have to be healthy enough to protect others health."

Photo Credit - Shatasha Edwards

Oneida Center Spokesperson, Jeff Jacomowitz disagrees. "Oneida Center is one of the premier post-acute care facilities in the Utica region and Central New York. Even during this COVID-19 pandemic, the clinical staff at the Oneida Center is NOT experiencing any shortages of medical supplies whatsoever. This includes facemasks, gowns, and anything related to what is needed in getting the job done to care for our patients and residents."

Photo Credit - Jeffrey Jacomowitz/
Director of Corporate Communications

“It is unfortunate, during this crisis, that a staff member felt it necessary to add additional fear, especially as it is untrue and unwarranted," Jacomowitz said in a statement. "The care for our residence and patience is number one first and foremost."


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