The nurses hope the call for action will change the public's mindset.By Nicole Ford

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – There is a new plea to the community to stay vigilant as coronavirus cases continue to rise. This time it’s coming from the frontlines.

“Maybe people would listen to us, we have a strong voice. We are at the frontlines with our staff and seeing what our staff is going through,” said Claire Zangerle, Allegheny Health Network’s chief nurse executive.

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Zangerle is one of eight nurse leaders who represent nurses from eight different health systems in our region.

“We are losing staff to COVID, whether it’s COVID positive, COVID suspected or someone in their family has been exposed. They are members of the community, too. So we are asking our staff and the community to just be vigilant,” Zangerle said.

In a letter to the community on Friday, this group is pleading with the public to look at the impact of this second wave of COVID-19 cases.

“We have more people that are a little less sick, but there are more of them and so they are filling up more of our beds than last time. They are coming to work and doing their work in a bit of an unknown environment,” Zangerle said.

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Zangerle said one person’s actions can spread to their nurses. Diane Puccetti at St. Clair Hospital echoes that message.

“Please keep your guard up. This is a real surge that we are seeing and it’s really little things that can mitigate the spread,” Puccetti said.

Puccetti told KDKA that masks and social distancing will go a long way in this fight that is far from over.

“All of us are making difficult choices individually for our own families,” Puccetti said.

In the end, these women hope this call for action will change the public’s mindset.

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“If we can talk to just one person and convince that one mom and dad to enjoy that small immediate family and next year it will be much better,” said Karen Bray with the Washington Health System.