janitor cart in a hospital

The people keeping hospitals around the country clean during the coronavirus pandemic often lack protection for themselves.

Many hospital cleaning professionals don't have the medical training needed to know how they can best protect themselves from a pandemic, reports Reuters. When they look to their employers for guidance, many of these hospital janitors say they get unreliable advice.

A hospital janitor of 20 years who only identifies herself as "McDavis" to Reuters, says she has been told she sometimes doesn't need a mask while cleaning, despite the fact she is diabetic - a condition that makes her an at risk individual.

An employee of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Chicago tells Reuters that hospital janitors are sometimes put in danger by the mistakes hospitals are making. For example, there have been instances where a janitors has entered a room with COVID-19 patients inside without wearing the necessary personal protective equipment because the hospital has failed to label the room as containing these patients.

To learn more about the struggles these hospital janitors are facing, read the rest of Reuters' report here.