Unsung heroes of COVID-19: Hospital housekeepers

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Medical staff are risking their lives to save lives. But they're not the only ones playing a critical role.

For safety, Allina Health allowed 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS to interview one of its lead housekeepers in a clinic that's been completely empty for a few weeks. They're some of the unsung heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jackie Davis showed KSTP her N95 mask and face shield as she put them on her body. They are now two pieces of Davis' must-have gear.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS wasn't allowed in United Hospital because of the pandemic but Allina Health granted access at one of its deserted day surgery clinics. Davis cleaned an empty operating room on a floor that hasn't been used for three weeks because of the ban on elective surgeries to give the public a glimpse at how hospital housekeepers are still working amid the outbreak.

"I feel like our role is just as important," explained Davis, when asked about the essential nature of her work on the front lines.

While maintaining proper social distancing, Davis told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she feels good about what she's able to do during this trying time.

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"I feel good, you know, still standing, working every day, and doing what I can do to make another person or patient happy, just to put another smile on their face," Davis said.

Environmental Services and Linen Director at United Hospital, Colleen Andrews, said Davis was one of the first hospital housekeepers to offer to work on the specialized COVID-19 units.

"We know that they're really scared to come to work every day, but yet they still come to work, everyday. … It's just really difficult, because we see the staff every day and we can tell how nervous they are to come in and do their jobs," Andrews said.

It's serious business.

"It's a little scary," Davis said. "I just get up every morning and I just pray. … Just watch over and protect me."

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