MIAMI (CBSMiami) – All week temperatures have been in the 90s but outdoor Covid-19 testing and vaccine sites continue to operate. And, now those who are working in the warm conditions are worried.
“It’s extreme heat, it’s very hot,” said a concerned nurse who works at Tropical Park COVID 19 testing site. The nurse who requested we hide their identity out of fear of retribution, adds the warm temperatures they are being subjected is becoming a health hazard as they spend hours in the sun doing test after test.READ MORE: South Florida Students Face Serious Charges, Lifelong Consequences For School Threats
“The cars begin to a line-up and they line up so far away and you just have to walk and teach people how to do the swabs and you have to go from car to car to car. The situation is very bad anyone can pass out over there with a heat stroke or get sick,” added the nurse.” who also says the conditions at the Tropical Park site is worst than the other testing locations because there is less opportunity to cool down.
“At Tropical Park, we have to go to our cars to cool down, we don’t have a cooling tent, that cools, like most sites have, that when you’re done working you can go and cool down, they don’t have that there”.
But, Miami-Dade County officials say they are making every effort to keep people cool.READ MORE: 'He Understood Sacrifice': Former Florida Rep. Donna Shalala Remembers Bob Dole As Selfless War Hero
“The weather is something that we cannot control. What we do control is provide adequate working areas for nurses. Their not just instructions to they are encouraged to stay hydrated”, said Erika Benitez with Miami-Dade Emergency Management. Benitez adds they provide water, Gatorade, and ice to their nurses. In addition, she says the nurses are encouraged to take breaks and stay out of the sun when possible.
“We care very much about the work they’re doing and we want to provide them with the opportunity to work in conditions that are comfortable for them, in well ventilated shaded areas as well”, said Benitez.
But the nurse we spoke to says the cooling area that is provided isn’t cool at all. And they worry someone will have heat exhaustion soon if more fans and the covering isn’t provided soon.
“It’s very hot, it’s extreme condition and it’s for too long of a time. I do feel like my life is in endanger and that’s why I do. Go there anymore.MORE NEWS: Biden Administration Implementing New Travel Rules To Help Combat Spread Of Omicron Variant
Because of the conditions, the nurse we spoke with says she no longer chooses to work at the Tropical Park site, but she says she remains concerned for her former coworkers.