Medical couriers need — and deserve — safety supplies

Couriers are in and out of hospitals, picking up prescriptions and life-saving cancer treatment drugs and delivering tissue samples and test results.

SHARE Medical couriers need — and deserve — safety supplies

Cargo nets cover boxes of PPE (personal protective equipment) disposable gloves stored on passenger seats inside the cabin of an aircraft, after it landed at Bournemouth Airport in southern England on Wednesday.

Photo by Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images

Medical couriers are seen as essential workers but are not getting any government assistance, despite the fact that our couriers go in and out of hospitals, nursing homes and labs all day, in direct contact with the staff, picking up COVID-19 samples to transport to the Illinois Department of Public Health and other laboratories. This is not only incredibly unfair, it’s also putting them in danger. 

Because of the lack of status, we’re unable to purchase essential supplies. 

When this all started, we had to scramble to get our own PPEs (personal protective equipment) for 70-plus-year-old drivers. A lot of labs initially didn’t know how to hand off the specimens to our couriers, so we had to come up with our own safety procedures.

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Though not all of our daily hospital work entails COVID-19 pick-ups, the couriers are in and out of hospitals, picking up prescriptions and life-saving cancer treatment drugs and delivering tissue samples and test results. They’re assuming all of the risks of first responders and other essential workers. 

We’re definitely not the most important essential workers, but what we’re doing is critical and dangerous, and we are struggling. Couriers deserve recognition and the necessary supplies. 

Morgan McDonald, office manager, American Courier Service, River Grove

Beautiful and sacred building

How ironic that the photograph accompanying Laura Washington’s Monday column “With technology, the church’s doors are always open” was a picture of our beloved St. Adalbert Church, which was recently closed down by the Chicago Archdiocese. 

This beautiful and sacred building would have been a more than adequate place to bring Chicago’s Catholics back to Mass in a safe and socially distanced manner due to its generous seating capacity. Bringing the faithful back to our churches with only 10 allowed at each service is going to cause many to decide that it’s much easier to just keep watching from our living rooms.

Teresa Figueroa, Berwyn

Help retail workers

My heartfelt thanks goes out to all the front-line health care workers who are at risk in their efforts to take care of those people diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. Let us not forget about the sacrifices made by retail workers who are at risk as well, with dealing with the public. Unlike health care workers who are masked and gloved when dealing with COVID-19 patients, many retail workers were not given the protective equipment needed for keeping both themselves and the general public.

It seems that the lack of masks for retail has improved but is still not at the level needed for everyone’s safety.

John F. Livaich, Oak Lawn

Endangering health

One person observes the executive orders. They pose no risk to their or my health. Another ignores the executive orders and not only risks their health, but mine as well. Where are MY rights being respected in this scenario? Bottom line: You do not have the right to impact anyone’s risk but your own. 

Louise Bajorek, Burbank

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