Healthcare worker resigns over claims Urgent Care Center lacked PPE for staff

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MCCOMB, Miss. (WJTV) – A former Medical Assistant and X-Ray examiner with a clinic in Pike County has resigned from her position in fear her employer wasn’t protecting them enough from being exposed to the Coronavirus while on the job.

After only four months on the job, a healthcare worker felt she had to walk away from caring for patients accusing the McComb Urgent Care Center of supposedly not providing staff enough PPE.

At the end of the Summer, Taryn McClernon moved her family all the way from Houston, TX to work the frontlines helping patients at the McComb Maxem Urgent Care Center.

“We needed to take care of my husband’s grandfather and the cost of living here is cheaper,” McClernon told us. “And I found a good job at the Urgent Care, well I thought it was a good job.”

The center is one of the few and busiest rapid testing sites in all of Pike County. In the last couple of months, McClernon claimed gloves were going scarce and higher-ups weren’t helping.

“They told us we were going through too many gloves and that we couldn’t use gloves any longer to triage the patients,” McClernon stated. “And we were only allowed to wear one glove swabbing the actual patients. Lots of times when you’re swabbed you cough or sneeze actually letting out droplets that are we’re exposed to if we only wear one glove.”

Last week McClernon sent in this resignation letter explaining her daughter has severe asthma and her 93-year-old grandfather lives with them and is at extremely high risk. She refuses to put them at more risk and feels the company is putting dollars ahead of people.

“I didn’t feel too comfortable to be perfectly honest with you,” Coyde Devine Jr. said. “I figure I’m going to die sooner or later but I’d rather make it later.”

After notifying the clinic about this situation we were granted access inside to a storage closet with several glove boxes holding anywhere from 40-300 gloves plus one in each room. Management claimed there’s never been a shortage. Their Corporate office said they deliver as many as 900 gloves each week to all clinics.

“Everybody wears a mask and then they put gloves on, if they swab they have to have gloves on,” Nurse Practitioner Tonya Brister stated. “And with patient’s contact, they have to have gloves on. No one’s ever told us and I’m the nurse practitioner and I really encourage everyone to wear gloves.”

The CDC states COVID-19 can transfer by landing on surfaces and someone touching it then feeling their mouth nose or eyes. But the clinic stated McClernon never did rapid testing and mostly interacted with patients at the front desk.

“I think she was a little disgruntled because she had been reprimanded for turning patients away,” Brister added. “And someone comes in at 7:50 p.m. we are to see them and you say we’re through seeing patients today that’s not our policy.”

McClernon denied not being part of rapid testing and even though this job was the family’s only source of income she still wants to dedicate her career to the medical field and is looking for a new job.

McComb Urgent Care added they do a deep COVID-19 cleaning of the office once a month while disinfecting every room after each patient leaves.

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