Augusta, Ga. (WJBF) – Nurses at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center spent part of their Friday afternoon demanding great Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

It’s part of a nationwide initiative by National Nurses United, to bring awareness on May Day (May 1st), also known as International Worker’s Day.

About 10 nurses rallied outside of the Downtown Division on 15th street. They say normally they would have more joining them but to adhere to social distancing guidelines they limited the number of participants.

A spokesperson for National Nurses United says nurses are rallying for more face masks, gloves, coveralls, and air purifying respirators.

“There are nurses dying across this country because they are not getting the personal protective equipment that they need to take care of their patients and that’s why we’re out. It’s like people are rolling the dice with the nurses lives. So, we’re saying okay this patient, we can use a surgical mask. We’ll roll the dice and hope you don’t get it,” said Irma Westmoreland, Registered Nurse, Chair of Veterans Affairs for National Nurses United.

The Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center sent WJBF the below statement in response to the rally:

“As communicated to staff and our community partners on numerous occasions, the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center is equipped with 30 days or more of essential items and supplies to handle coronavirus cases. And, all VA employees have the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as per CDC guidelines.

During this time, healthcare protocols need to guide our actions. And, CDC guidelines are clear: not every healthcare worker will need the same quantity and type of PPE. Therefore, per CDC guidelines, we are providing daily or weekly PPE based on the number and types of patients they are seeing.

We carefully monitor levels and consumption rates to ensure we have enough PPE to provide safe, high-quality care to patients. And, if the facility were to fall below stock levels, supplies are cross-leveled by another VA facility or region.”

See VA testing and case updates here: