WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- More than 900 health care workers have succumbed to COVID-19 in the US, based on the data presented by The Guardian and Kaiser Health News.
- The risk of exposure plus other factors like lack of testing and protective equipment contributed to the growing figures of fatalities.
- The data were gathered by a team of more than 50 journalists by using various sources.
According to a new data tracking by The Guardian and Kaiser Health News, the death toll of US Health Care Workers who were at the frontline against the battle with the coronavirus has increased to over 900.
A joint task between two newsrooms, the “Lost on the frontline” project aims to monitor and record deaths of American health care workers and narrate their stories.
Counted health care workers include frontline doctors, nurses, paramedics, carers, and cleaning and administrative support staff ━ all passed away due to COVID-19.
The risk of getting infected with the virus among health care workers is already there. Moreover, other factors such as the lack of testing and personal protective equipment, people deviating from doing social distancing and wearing face masks, and the continuous push by the government to reopen the economy had all paved the way to the growing fatality.
Nearly one out of three workers said that they have deficient protective gear.
According to the news outlets, who made a team of over 50 journalists, the methods that were used to collate the total deaths include crowdsourcing, social media, local reports, and reports from colleagues, workers unions, and online obituaries.
Currently, journalists have profiled and documented the stories of 167 deceased health care workers ━ where 62 percent were people of color and around 40 percent were Black or Latino, based on the data. This simply shows that coronavirus affects people of different colors.
Among those who have been profiled, around 40 percent were nurses. The age range is from 20 up to 80 with 57 as the median age. The majority of these deaths occurred on the East Coast during the first wave of the pandemic in April.
Some of the stories published include 32-year-old nurse Brittany Bruner Ringo, who remained optimistic despite hardly catching to breathe as narrated by her mom; the 53-year-old nurse Lisa Ewald, who experienced delayed testing and died in her home alone the following day after knowing she got COVID-19; and 69-year-old Norman Einhorn, an eye doctor who continued to serve patients at rehabilitation centers after the lockdown restricted him to practice his field.
The tracking had recorded 922 fatalities as of August 11. Based on a published article last week, news organizations said that some cases could have been prevented.