Oregon nurse on leave after claiming to flout Covid rules

A nurse in Oregon has been placed on administrative leave after claiming she does not follow pandemic restrictions outside of her job.

In a TikTok video which appeared to be filmed in her hospital, the nurse said she does not wear a mask away from work and lets her children have play dates.

It caused a stir on social media, with many calling for her firing.

Her employer, Salem Health, said she was under investigation and condemned her behaviour.

Reacting to the video, posted on 27 November, the hospital said the nurse had “displayed cavalier disregard for the seriousness of this pandemic”.

In a statement released on Facebook, it added: “We want to thank those of you who brought this to our attention and assure you that we are taking this very seriously. We also want to assure you that this one careless statement does not reflect the position of Salem Health or the hardworking and dedicated caregivers who work here.”

Initially identified in news reports only by her TikTok handle, she has since been named by hospital officials as Ashley Grames, who works in the oncology department at Salem Health.

Ms Grames has deleted the video, her TikTok profile and her Facebook account.

In the video, she is seen wearing hospital scrubs and a stethoscope around her neck, standing in what appears to be her workplace break room.

She lip-syncs to a scene from the movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas, in which the Grinch reveals his true identity.

A caption overlaid on her video reads: “When my co-workers find out I still travel, don’t wear a mask when I’m out and let my kids have play dates.”

The video sparked a swift backlash, prompting Ms Grames to take down the post, but a re-shared version of the original video with comment from another user – known as a “duet” on the platform – has amassed over one million views.

Hundreds of people took to the hospital’s Facebook page to report the employee.

Hospital officials said the investigation into her conduct was aimed at protecting staff members and patients she may have come into contact with.

In addition, Oregon has experienced a surge of the virus over the past few weeks, setting records in daily caseloads and hospital admissions.

Several public figures have been castigated in recent weeks for their failure to observe pandemic restrictions. This week, British popstar Rita Ora apologised after she broke Covid rules in London to celebrate her birthday.


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