Cleaner working in hospital forced to wear homemade mask: ‘We’re on the frontlines also’

When most of us think of frontline workers, cleaning staff don’t always come to mind, and yet their work keeping our medical centers clean is a vital job, even more so during this global pandemic.

But one janitor working at a medical center in Los Angeles has revealed she is wearing a home-made mask while doing her job after being told her company doesn’t have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for her.

“Doctors and nurses are on the frontlines, and so are we,” Sophia Lopez told CBS News. “I do public restrooms on the clinic side, so I don’t know who comes in with the virus.”

The 28-year-old mom of two says she wears a homemade masks and gloves and admits she can’t afford to leave the job she’s had for four years.

We're On The Frontlines Also': Janitorial Staffs Keeping Medical ...
CBS Local

“My mom made me a face mask and I take my janitorial clothes when I get off work and in my car I change into my regular clothes,” she said. “Then when I come home, I go straight to the shower, put my work clothes with my regular clothes to wash because I don’t want to carry anything inside the house.”

Lopez hasn’t had any symptoms but is still distancing herself from her two young daughters.

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“‘Mom why don’t you hug me, why don’t you play with me?’ I have to explain to them that I might be carrying a virus on my clothes or on myself, even though I just showered, to be precautious about it,” she added.

Lopez also worries about her coworkers and other janitors working around the country during the pandemic.

“We’re on the frontlines also,” she said. “We’re putting ourselves at risk, especially because we don’t even know if the room has COVID or not.”

These workers deserve as much proper protection as medical staff. Please share if you agree.