During this past year, my fellow nurses and I have been on the front lines helping fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Like so many other frontline workers, we have all made huge personal sacrifices. As some nurses have traveled across the country to help, many have transitioned to new departments, learned new patient care routines/practices, and the most heart-wrenching thing has been holding the hand of our COVID-19 patients so they wouldn’t have to die alone.
I am concerned that the California State Legislature is considering a budget proposal to increase the tax on bleach and other disinfectants in hospitals, nursing homes, daycare centers, schools, businesses, and other high-traffic areas.
With a $75 billion state surplus, we should not be discussing raising the tax on disinfectants by 90%. If anything, California should be lowering the costs of these critical products that help us safeguard patients, healthcare workers, and the public.
State and local health agencies require that businesses, schools, nursing homes, and childcare centers “establish procedures to routines clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and objects throughout the workday.”
As our businesses begin to offer more indoor seating, outdoor events such as fairs and concerts are starting to get scheduled. Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced that our students should be attending a full-time school in Fall 2021.
The California Department of Public Health and local county health departments continue to promote the routine cleaning and use of disinfectants to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.
As our state begins to open up, let us remember that we have not yet defeated COVID-19.
These past few months, local county public health officials found three different COVID-19 variants (Brazil, United Kingdom, and South Africa) in Northern California.
Let us not disregard and forget the many sacrifices, loss of life, and the countless unemployed and homeless Californians.
I strongly urge that our state leaders consider the negative impact of what it means to increase the tax on disinfectants, making it more costly to our hospitals, schools, businesses, nursing homes, childcare centers, and the public.