Nelson asks governor to provide temporary lodging for COVID-19 frontliners

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Vice Speaker Telena Nelson

In a letter to Governor Lou Leon Guerrero Sunday, Vice Speaker Telena Nelson asked the administration to provide temporary lodging for all frontline GovGuam employees engaged in efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

In particular, she cited nurses saying “we must take care of them and provide them the necessary tools, resources, and accommodations.”

She also calls on the Governor to ensure that all of the nurses responding to Guam’s COVID-19 outbreak, including those serving at the Skilled Nursing Unit in Barrigada, and those serving at designated quarantine sites “receive the same compensation as nurses serving at the Guam Memorial Hospital.”

READ the release from Vice Speaker Nelson in FULL below:

Vice Speaker Nelson Requests Temporary Lodging for COVID-19
Responders, Implores Governor to Ensure Equitable Pay for All Nurses

In response to pleas from the frontline teams responding to Guam’s
COVID-19 outbreak, Vice Speaker Telena Cruz Nelson wrote to the Governor on Sunday requesting that the administration provide temporary lodging accommodations for all government employees working directly with coronavirus patients and those who face direct exposure in providing essential services. 

“All of our nurses are at the frontlines fighting this invisible enemy, we must take care of them and provide them the necessary tools, resources, and accommodations to accomplish our mission in defeating COVID-19 on Guam,” said Vice Speaker Telena Cruz Nelson.

“In war, every soldier’s morale, welfare, pay, and lodging is accounted for and
provided for us, so that we may be able to perform at our greatest capability and focus more on defeating the enemy. This is what we have asked of our nurses: to routinely perform at their greatest capability, give 110 percent or more of themselves to defeat our common enemy and sacrifice precious time away from caring for their families, so that they may care for others.” 

The Vice-Speaker explained in her letter to the Governor that there are numerous employees responding to COVID-19 across different island facilities. These employees, Nelson wrote, face increased risks by directly responding to coronavirus patients. This creates anxiety and fear as the responding employees return home, where they further risk infecting their families. 

“Our nurses have asked our government to provide them temporary lodging to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in our community and to ease fears about possibly infecting their loved ones at home,” Nelson said.

“Many of our nurses have already taken extreme measures to curb this risk by completely disinfecting themselves upon returning home and refraining from physical contact with their families. For the comfort of knowing that our nurses would completely avoid infecting their loved ones, especially their children, manåmko’ and those with medical conditions, let us provide our frontline responders with a place they can have peace of mind knowing they have done their job for the day and won’t jeopardize their families.” 

Vice Speaker Nelson also urged the Governor to ensure that all nurses responding to Guam’s COVID-19 outbreak, including those serving at the Skilled Nursing Unit in Barrigada, designated quarantine sites and with the Department of Public Health and Social Services, receive the same compensation as nurses serving at the Guam Memorial Hospital.