Hospitals in several states are ramping up security and even providing wearable panic buttons to staff amid a wave of violent attacks sparked by COVID-related misinformation, denialists, and conspiracy theorists.
In a hospital in Branson, Missouri, as many as 400 staff members will have panic buttons added to their identification badges after assaults on staff members tripled amid the pandemic. Assaults rose from 40 in 2019 to 123 in 2020, the Associated Press reported. The numbers for 2021 have not been released. When pressed, the panic buttons will immediately alert hospital security and trigger a tracking system to locate the endangered worker.