Essential workers — including those in health care — hit hard by COVID-19 and environmental health threats


Edna Cortez has worked as a regis­tered nurse at Seattle Children’s Hospital for the past 30 years — and she received a commem­o­ra­tive pin to mark the occasion. Cortez wears another pin these days during the pandemic: she places a button with a picture of her face on top of her scrub hat to help her young patients feel less afraid. 

She usually keeps her face covered while working, like all nurses do during the pandemic. Cortez has to wear full personal protec­tive equip­ment (PPE), including masks, goggles, face shields, and gowns. Not everyone has access to the same equip­ment, or the right kind.

Cortez is among the state’s essen­tial workers — in health care and other profes­sions — who have been put at higher risk from COVID-19 and other environ­mental health factors in 2020.


SOUTH SEATTLE EMERALD: Essential workers — including those in health care — hit hard by COVID-19 and environmental health threats (10/22/20)