- A cancer nurse at Salem Hospital in Oregon was placed on administrative leave after posting a TikTok making light of coronavirus guidance, the hospital said in a statement Saturday.
- The hospital did not name the nurse, but the Statesman-Journal identified the nurse in question as Ashley Grames.
- The TikTok showed the nurse wearing scrubs, and includes the caption: “When my co-workers find out I still travel, don’t wear a mask when I am out, and let my kids have play dates.”
- Hospital officials said that the nurse “displayed cavalier disregard for the seriousness of the pandemic” and “does not speak for Salem Health.”
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A Salem, Oregon, cancer nurse has been placed on administrative leave after she posted a TikTok mocking COVID-19 safety measures.
The original video showed the nurse in her scrubs sitting in what appears to be a break room. The caption reads: “When my co-workers find out I still travel, don’t wear a mask when I am out, and let my kids have play dates.”
While the nurse’s TikTok account and the original video have been taken down, another TikTok re-shared the video so it’s still viewable.
Salem Hospital addressed the video in a statement posted on Facebook Saturday, saying that the nurse in question has been placed on administrative leave while hospital authorities investigate.
In the statement, hospital officials said the nurse “displayed cavalier disregard for the seriousness of the pandemic” and “does not speak for Salem Health.”
“Salem Health believes we all need to do our part to protect the vulnerable and stop the rapid spread of COVID-19. This includes requiring staff, patients and visitors to follow guidance from the CDC and others about mask wearing and social distancing,” the hospital added.
“The COVID pandemic is serious and requires a serious response. And at Salem Health we are very serious about our approach to COVID.”
Hospital officials did not name the nurse, but the Statesman-Journal has identified her as Ashley Grames. KPTV went to the nurse’s home, but she declined to be interviewed. Insider was not able to reach Grames for comment on Monday.
More than 1,000 people have commented on the hospital’s Facebook statement, with many calling for Grames to be fired for risking the health of immunocompromised people.
Cancer patients are more susceptible to getting infections like COVID-19 because both cancer and cancer treatments affect the immune system’s ability to fight infections, according to Cancer.gov.
The state Oregon is currently nearing the end of a “two-week freeze” to help slow the spread of the virus, which involves the closing of gyms, restaurants switching to takeout-only, limited capacity in retail stores, and private social gatherings of no more than six people from two households, according to the state’s coronavirus website.
As of Friday, the most recent day for which data was available, there were more than 70,000 coronavirus cases in the state and 885 deaths. Salem is also in the second-hardest hit region in the state, according to the state’s COVID-19 website.
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