LOS ANGELES – Any time there is an outbreak or epidemic, nurses are right there to help on the frontlines.

Emergency room nurse Marcia Santini has lived through outbreaks before, but now how the coronavirus is being handled is concerning her.

“It’s a new virus so we don’t know enough about it and that’s what’s frightening about it,” said Santini.


Santini wears simple scrubs to work, which she washes herself at home. She is worried about being exposed to coronavirus at work and bringing it home to her family. Santini’s mother-in-law is in her late eighties. The virus poses a big threat to the elderly.

“I’m concerned what happens if I bring it home, she gets it, and she passes away. I would die. Okay, I get a little emotional sorry,” said Santini.

Santini also says hospitals don’t have enough testing kits.

According to the California Department of Public Health, there are 11 public health labs in the state which have already received Centers for Disease Control and Prevention test kits and have begun testing. More labs will come online soon bringing the total to 20 public health labs in California.

Testing is important because people can have the virus, not show symptoms right away, and yet still be contagious.

“People kind of make light… More people die of the flu every year. Well we shouldn’t be so proud of that number either. We need to do better,” said Santini.

Santini has been a nurse for more than three decades. Most of her career has been spent in the ER so emergencies are her norm. Rather than panicking, she is pleading for the tools to do her job without putting herself and her family in harm’s way.