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Custodian with coronavirus symptoms accuses Harvard of neglect

When Harvard College scholars have been instructed to pack their baggage, crucial employees like Doris Reina-Landaverde remained on campus to disinfect dormitories. Now, she says, she has the indications of the coronavirus.

Harvard closed its doorways March 10 to gradual the virus’ unfold and switched to on-line categories. Within the period in-between, custodian Reina-Landaverde endured to turn as much as paintings each day with a couple of latex gloves and a masks.

But if the provision ran out and he or she requested her manager for extra mask, Reina-Landaverde was once instructed there were not any left.

“Scholars have been those who donated my masks,” she mentioned.

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Reina-Landaverde, like several Harvard custodians, is equipped non-public protecting apparatus in line with tips from the Facilities for Illness Keep an eye on and Prevention, mentioned college spokesman Jason Newton.

“We stay dedicated to offering all of our crucial employees with the right gear and coaching they want to keep protected on campus,” he mentioned.

Reina-Landaverde, 41, has labored at Harvard for just about 15 years after she arrived from El Salvador 20 years in the past with brief safe standing granted by means of the Division of Place of origin Safety, which permits recipients to legally reside and paintings within the U.S. She briefly become a pacesetter in hard work activism on campus.

She were given concerned with contract negotiations for janitors in 2016 as store steward for her native affiliated with the Carrier Staff Global Union. Reina-Landaverde, who’s married and has 3 daughters, later arranged with the Harvard TPS Coalition, which advocates for a trail towards everlasting place of dwelling for households like hers.

Reina-Landaverde mentioned Wednesday that she skilled coronavirus signs, together with a sore throat, chills and coughing, and contacted her physician, who recommended her to stick house and self-quarantine.

“Any worker who’s in poor health, who must self-isolate or who must handle dependents can straight away start the usage of their paid time-off advantages, together with use of as much as 14 days of paid unwell time they’ve now not but earned,” Newton mentioned.

Massachusetts has just about 2,500 circumstances associated with the coronavirus, together with 25 deaths. To authorize trying out, well being suppliers decide whether or not sufferers meet the state Public Well being Division’s definition of “individual below investigation.”

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Reina-Landaverde’s physician instructed her she needed to wait to be examined as a result of she did not meet the factors. She is self-isolating from her husband and daughters whilst she recovers.

In a campuswide electronic mail Tuesday, college President Lawrence S. Bacow and his spouse introduced that they’d examined certain for COVID-19, the sickness brought about by means of the coronavirus. Each have been examined the day once they introduced signs, the e-mail mentioned.

Reina-Landaverde known as it a “disgrace” that the wealthiest college within the country can not provide elementary protecting put on, depending on scholar donations, as a substitute.

“I think just like the college does not care about me or my co-workers,” she mentioned. “We’re human beings. I think like a vacuum or a brush that you just best use when you want it.”

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