Earlier this week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned state governor Tony Evers’ stay-at-home order, which resulted in people immediately packing bars, most without masks, and sitting shoulder to shoulder.
Katie Koutsky, a Wisconsin nurse, was filmed by local news WGN sitting at Limanski’s Pub in West Allis without a face mask. During her interview with WGN, she openly shared her name and occupation.
“I have a toddler at home, and I’m a full-time nurse. It’s been very stressful and hard to go out and be with my friends and family at bars,” she openly told the news crew.
Apparently, the nurse felt the bar posed the same risk as going to a grocery store. But her employer, Advocate Aurora Health, told CBS News it was “disappointed” in her choice to not wear a mask at the bar “given the ongoing education and safety measures we are fully committed to.”
When brought up in the virtual town hall, the hospital’s chief nursing officer, Mary Beth Kingston, said all employees are screen before their shifts, and the hospital takes steps to ensure that they follow appropriate safety measures on the job, according to WGN. They have also taken steps to educate team members on safety measures once they leave the hospital.
Advocate Aurora Health also stated, “as business begin to reopen, it’s important we all continue to practice safety measure that has been effective in stemming the spread including social distancing, thorough hand washing, staying at home when sick and wearing masks in public in accordance with local government guidance.”
It seems like it would be in Koutsky and her patients’ best interest to take additional safety precautions.
The nurse issued the following statement:
“Given the intense media scrutiny I have received over these last two days regarding my decision Wednesday evening to go to my sister’s bar to help her with the opening, I decided to issue a public statement. First, while my priority was to support my sister and her attempt to restart her business, which has been devastated by this pandemic, I’d like to express my regret for not wearing a mask or practicing social distancing while there. It was a lapse in judgment on my part to not ensure I had my mask prior to leaving my house and to not maintain social distancing-even during the interview requested by the reporter. As a nurse, I understand the fear and how important it is to practice safety measures not only at sites of care but while away from work. I let my guard down and apologize for making anyone feel uncomfortable or at risk. While I do not have any COVID-19 symptoms, and there are no indications of exposure, out of an abundance of caution, I am voluntarily self-quarantining for the next seven days. As standard practice at my hospital, I will undergo screening before returning to work.”