A nurse in Salem, Oregon, has been placed on administrative leave after posting a “Grinch”-themed TikTok video in which she poked fun at those taking COVID-19 safety protocols seriously.
The clip showed the nurse, identified by BuzzFeed and other media outlets as Ashley Grames of Salem Health, wearing scrubs and a stethoscope as she mouthed dialogue from the 2000 live-action version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
“When my coworkers find out I still travel, don’t wear a mask when I’m out and let my kids have play dates,” the caption read.
Posted on TikTok last Friday, the original clip has since been deleted. Amanda Butcher, a nurse at a different facility, incorporated the footage into a critical “duet” reaction video that remained online as of Monday afternoon.
“Imagine being an oncology nurse during a pandemic and bragging about not taking precautions,” Butcher wrote.
After the original video went viral Saturday, Salem Health officials responded to the controversy with a statement condemning their employee’s “cavalier disregard for the seriousness of this pandemic and her indifference towards physical distancing and masking outside of work.”
“This individual does not speak for Salem Health and has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation,” the statement continued. “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.”
The statement, posted to Salem Health’s Facebook page, had drawn more than 1,000 comments ― many of them negative ― as of Monday.
“Fire her and take away any of her licenses,” one person wrote. “She doesn’t deserve to be a nurse if all she’s going to do is endanger some of the most immunocompromised people.”
Added another, “She owes every patient and family of her patients, a lengthy apology and explanation of her callous/reckless disregard of their health. How she is still being paid is beyond me.”
Speaking to local news outlet KGW, Butcher echoed those sentiments.
“I just know that I’m keeping my family and my residents safe,” she said. “I want her residents to be safe, too.”
Salem is located in Oregon’s Marion County, about 50 miles south of Portland. On Monday, Johns Hopkins University reported that Oregon had a COVID-19 testing positivity rate of 7.11%, with more than 74,119 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.
Watch a KGW news report on the case below.
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