Residents near DC hospital say staffers are discarding PPEs in their neighborhood

Concerns are mounting in a Northwest Washington neighborhood near MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. 

Nearby residents say hospital staffers are discarding PPEs in the neighborhood — everything from surgical masks to gowns and gloves.

CORONAVIRUS BY THE NUMBERS: DC, Maryland and Virginia coronavirus case total

FOX 5’s Tisha Lewis was in the neighborhood Wednesday afternoon and didn’t see any PPEs discarded but did see a man in uniform going street by street picking up trash.

FOX 5 also saw hospital staffers wearing masks.

Even so, there are pictures and even home video residents in the neighborhood say shows a staffer tossing part of their PPE on the ground.

The Burleith Citizens Association posted pictures on its website of PPE items found, we’re told, during the last two weeks.

The residents say this has been a problem for at least two years but amid the coronavirus pandemic, concerns have heightened.

MedStar emailed FOX 5 saying the following:

“Given the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are purchasing disposable masks and gloves to help stop the spread of COVID-19.  The use of these items has become a common sight everywhere—not just neighborhoods, but grocery stores, parking lots and even along the scenic trails in our areas.”

A resident also posted home video saying it’s a hazard, even more so now, to the community. Medstar Georgetown says the video in question showing an individual discarding a head covering is from January 6th, more than three months ago, and there’s no clarity to indicate it’s a hospital associate. 

Even so, Eric Lagenbacher who is president of the Burleith Citizens Association says the video shows people removing head coverings and points out the general public does not typically wear PPE head coverings.

MedStar also says they’ve put up “reminder signage” at exits and added trash cans so that patients, visitors and associates can conveniently discard items prior to exit.

FOX 5 has learned the hospital has also instructed security personnel to ask associates leaving the hospital to remove any items, such as gloves, gowns and hair nets/caps prior to exiting.

They’re also reportedly encouraging the community to report any items found in the dedicated area.

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