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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, Rosalina 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.

These are the men and women who do the humblest work in hospitals filled with COVID-19 patients. But they are so integral to patient care that they were among the first to get inoculated this week as the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech rolled out across the country.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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