As a student at the University of Washington, an institution that is on the cutting edge of medicine and bills itself as being quite progressive, I am appalled by the lack of care being shown for essential workers in its hospitals.

This goes beyond doctors and nurses, who are undoubtedly important in their own right. Custodial staff, cafeteria staff, and others are all essential workers and also exposed, putting themselves at great risk to keep hospitals running smoothly.

What staff are requesting is not extraordinary — they are basic precautions. They need proper notification when they have come in contact with a sick person, physical barriers placed between them and visitors whenever possible, and contact tracing.

That they have been denied these basic protections is absolutely shameful, and I stand in solidarity with them in their demands. We must do better.

Melanie Kray, Seattle