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They Risk Their Lives Cleaning Hospitals. Now, They Are Getting Vaccinated. ‘I Want People to Know That We Exist’



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Maria Saravia changes in and out of protective gear 24 times a day — once for each patient room she enters on the COVID-19 floor at Keck Hospital of USC. She takes out biohazardous waste, freshens linens and sanitizes everything, down to the television remote.

At Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, Rosalvina Baez knows which sign outside a child’s room signals a high-risk infection case, which could be COVID-19. She comforts parents and cracks jokes with their sons and daughters as she cleans bathrooms and mops floors.

In the intensive care units and emergency department at UC Davis Medical Center, senior custodian Shashi Kant, 65, sometimes works 12-hour shifts emptying trash cans and sanitizing rooms.

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