A nurse at New Orleans East Hospital becomes the state’s first healthcare worker to die after testing positive for COVID-19.  Larrice Anderson passed away on Wednesday.  Executive Director of the Louisiana State Nurse’s Association Thea Ducrow says the death sends a shockwave through the nursing community.

“It’s really hit home for all of the nurses that are out there working every day without the proper equipment and they realize that this has been an awakening as far as this is what can happen,” said Anderson.

Ducrow says the rapidly developing situation has resulted in changes in protective measures from the more strict airborne transmission protocol to the relaxed droplet protocol that requires the use of less PPE.  Ducrow says nurses are concerned about these changes.

“One thing that they said is the change from the strict protocol to the more lenient protocol, it was driven by supplies rather than science,” said Ducrow.

Ducrow says the needs of healthcare workers are clear.

“They need airborne transmission PPE.  It takes more PPE for that but to appropriately protect the healthcare providers that is what is needed,” said Ducrow.

Anderson’s employer released a statement remembering the fallen nurse as “a mother, friend, caring nurse, New Orleans East Hospital and LCMC Health family members.”

 (Story written by Kevin Barnhart/Louisiana Radio Network)