An Oregon nurse has been put on administrative leave and is being investigated after she posted a TikTok video in which she mockingly suggested she does not follow coronavirus prevention guidelines like wearing a mask or social distancing.
A nurse at a hospital in Salem posted a since-deleted video of herself wearing scrubs and a stethoscope and lip-syncing along with audio from the 2000 movie "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." In the clip, a little girl shrieks in horror after encountering the Grinch.
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"When my coworkers find out I still travel, don’t wear a mask when I am out and let my kids have playdates,” the caption read, as the woman jokingly screamed along.
"Imagine being an oncology nurse during a pandemic and bragging about not taking precautions," a user named Amanda Butcher wrote in response.
The woman was identified by Salem Health as Ashley Grames, a nurse in the oncology department, according to Buzzfeed. The hospital released a statement on Facebook Sunday saying she had been put on leave.
"Yesterday, a nurse employed with Salem Health posted a video on social media which displayed cavalier disregard for the seriousness of this pandemic and her indifference towards physical distancing and masking outside of work," the statement reads. "This video has prompted an outcry from concerned community members. We want to thank those of you who brought this to our attention and assure you that we are taking this very seriously. This individual does not speak for Salem Health and has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
"We also want to assure you that this one careless statement does not reflect the position of Salem Health or the hardworking and dedicated caregivers who work here."
Commenters on Salem Health's Facebook page were particularly outraged because the nurse worked in the oncology department with cancer patients, who are at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 complications.
"Administrative leave? For knowingly exposing immunocompromised patients to Covid and then bragging about it? I'm an RN and I'm so disappointed in this response," one commenter wrote.
The controversy also comes as a report issued on Nov. 25 by the Oregon Public Health Division noted that Salem Hospital has had 91 employee-related cases of COVID-19 since May, the highest number of any hospital in the state and the fourth-most of any institution in the state behind only three prisons and an Amazon warehouse.
The report also notes that the case counts may also include household members and other close contacts, so it's not clear exactly how many of the positive cases at Salem Health were hospital employees themselves.