By Carol Tannenhauser
Kious Kelly, an assistant nurse manager at Mount Sinai West, died Tuesday night of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Little is known about Kelly yet; his picture, posted on Twitter, shows a man in his 40s. His sister told the New York Post he had “severe asthma.” Kelly and his sister we’re texting until “he stopped responding about a week ago,” according to the Post. His sister said she is “absolutely” certain Kelly contracted the virus at work.
Several doctors and nurses in the city have gotten infected as they battle the disease. Anxiety has risen about shortages of protective equipment meant to keep them safe. Nurses told the Post that Mt. Sinai West did not have enough protective equipment for workers, a statement the hospital vehemently denied.
Here is Mount Sinai’s statement as of Thursday morning:
The safety and protection of all Mount Sinai staff and patients is always – and will always be — our absolute top priority, but especially during the COVID-19 crisis. When it comes to staff wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), the facts are very clear: we always provide all our staff with the critically important PPE they need to safely do their job. If an individual does not have their proper PPE, they do not go on the floor, period. Any suggestion otherwise is simply not accurate.
This crisis is straining the resources of all New York area hospitals and while we do – and have had – enough protective equipment for our staff, we will all need more in the weeks ahead. This crisis is only growing and it’s essential that we not only have all the right equipment but that we come together to help and support one another. This week we lost a member of our family. We are grieving deeply for his loss, but we must carry on and continue to do what we do best: save lives.