Unsafe COVID-19 Conditions in Pharmacy Corrected

When the COVID-19 crisis hit in March 2020, UAPD members working for LA County found themselves in high-risk situations that their managers were doing little to address. They turned to UAPD representatives to understand the fast-changing situation and for help in forcing managers to develop and implement policies and practices that kept employees as safe as possible. In March 2020, a Mid-Valley Comprehensive Health Center pharmacist reported that unscreened patients were being crowded into the waiting room, that there were no protective barriers and no measures to sanitize pens, payment cards, and surfaces. The pharmacist, alarmed at the extreme risk these conditions posed, requested telework, but was denied because almost all pharmacist work cannot be done remotely. Management ultimately agreed to set up a system that only allowed three patients in the waiting area at a time. Masks were provided and gloves were ordered. While the UAPD representative provided the pharmacist with guidance and support, it was the tenacious advocacy of this pharmacist that made it happen.