Coronavirus Latest: Bucks County ER Doctor In Quarantine Says Despite Donations, There Remains Need For PPE

LANGHORNE, Pa. (CBS) — On Sunday night, we checked back in with a health care worker who has been a frontline fighter in the battle against the coronavirus. Dr. Jose Torrades, an ER physician at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, first spoke out two weeks ago.

Torrades sounded the alarm on medical supply shortages on March 22, saying that some of his colleagues were forced to turn to YouTube to learn how to reuse personal protective equipment.

Now, Torrades is in quarantine himself after developing mild symptoms after known exposures with some patients with COVID-19. Torrades says he was tested on Tuesday.

“That test took about three or four days to come back,” he said Sunday night. “It did come back negative, but that’s what it was.”

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Torrades says that even with the influx of PPE donations, there remains a dire need.

“I think after the interview from two weeks ago and just a general outpouring of support from the community, there has been a lot of people, individuals, private donors, who have come through and have helped us out a lot,” Torrades said.

“But the reality is, colleagues of mine, New York, all over the country, are still talking about needing to wear the same equipment for weeks at a time and sometimes not even having that, needing to wear trash bags. You can imagine the risk that puts our health care workers and other frontliners in.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday asked all residents to wear a mask now when they go out in public.

That’s a decision Torrades believes is a smart one.

“The reason to do this, and the reason for everybody to appreciate it that we’re learning more about this virus and knowing that up to one in four people who transmit the virus show no symptoms whatsoever,” he said. “Therefore when you breathe in front of a glass and you see fog, that fog is made up of millions and millions of droplets, and that is where the virus is and that is how the virus is transmitted.

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“There is no downside of wearing something on your face. The upside is, you’ll save a life of somebody who you care about who has a sickness or has a weaker immune system and everybody knows somebody like that. In these trying times, we all could do our part.”

If nothing else, Torrades says the face masks could be a “2020 fashion statement.”