DCNA Demands that DOH Test Nurses Exposed to COVID-19

Health Care Workers, Patients, and Families are All at Risk


April 1, 2020 – Washington, D.C. – The District of Columbia Nurses Association (DCNA) has informed the D.C. Department of Health (DC Health) that it must test all health care personnel who have been exposed to patients or staff, and that the tests should be initiated immediately with results completed expeditiously.  DOH agreed to discuss issues relating to Covid - 19 testing but has not attempted to schedule a date following DCNA’s initial contact with the agency on March 11.

“A patient at United Medical Center in southeast D.C. has died from Covid -19, and another patient at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital tested positive for the virus.  In both cases, DC Health refused to test the nurses and other hospital staff who cared for the patients, thus jeopardizing not only their health, but the health of other staff members at the hospitals and their families.”

D.C. Health refused to provide tests to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, despite requests from both management and DCNA.  At Howard University Hospital, a nurse died from corona virus last Friday.  He was the first member of DCNA and National Nurses United to succumb to Covid-19.  Many nurses and employees at the hospital who worked with the deceased nurse are concerned because they have not been tested for the virus. 

“It is hard to fathom that nurses who have been exposed to patients with the virus were not tested immediately,” said Edward Smith, Executive Director of the District of Columbia Nurses Association.  “I find it blatantly irresponsible and a dangerous practice.  We see what is happening in other areas of the nation when doctors and nurses contract the disease and are unable to care for patients.  If an inordinate number of clinicians become ill in the District, it will result in a tremendous strain on D.C. hospitals to deliver care during this crisis, and we don’t want that to occur in the nation’s capital.”

DCNA believes Department of Health Covid - 19 guidelines that D.C. hospital administrators follow must be modified with new protocols to protect the health and well being of nurses, their families, other health care workers, and the patients who are receiving care for other medical conditions.

DCNA represents approximately 2,000 nurses and other health care professionals in the District of Columbia and is an affiliate of the National Nurses United, AFL-CIO.

For more information, contact:
David Thompson – [email protected]
202-244-2705 (office) or 301-785-7670 (mobile)


For more COVID19 information, click here.


The District of Columbia Nurses Association (DCNA) is the professional organization for registered nurses who live and/or work in the District. DCNA is affiliated with National Nurses United, American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and the Washington Metropolitan Council.

DCNA negotiates contracts that make sure nurses’ pay is competitive and commensurate with experience, years of service, responsibility, autonomy, and education. DCNA contracts provide guaranteed benefits, equitable policies, fair representation, job security, and practical solutions to everyday workplace problems affecting the professional lives of nurses.

DCNA encourages its members to get involved in leadership roles at the local and national level. Within the DCNA framework, nurses gain experience as volunteer lobbyists, media spokespersons, union advocates, and community activists.

Click here to view the February 2020 DCNA Newsletter.  For previous editions of the Newsletter, click here.

DCNA is located at:
5100 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Suite 306
Washington DC 20016
Telephone: 202.244.2705
Fax: 202.362.8285
email: [email protected]

powered by MemberClicks