Due to the lack of personnel, hospitals in the US allow their employees with mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 to continue working.
Many institutions are not only saturated with cases. Still, they are dealing with severe staff shortages due to many infected workers.
Hospitals across the United States are increasingly making the extraordinary decision to allow nurses and other workers infected with COVID-19 to stay at work with little or no symptoms. The move is a reaction to the severe understaffing in hospitals and the staggering number of cases that the omicron variant of the coronavirus is causing.
California health authorities announced over the weekend that hospital personnel who test positive but are asymptomatic could continue to work. Some hospitals in Rhode Island and Arizona have also informed employees that they can continue to work if they have no or only mild symptoms.
The highly contagious omicron variant has shot new cases of COVID-19 in the United States above 700,000 a day on average, surpassing the record set a year ago. The number of Americans hospitalized by the virus is around 130,000, and this Monday, it registered a new record.
Many hospitals are not only overwhelmed with cases. Still, they are dealing with severe staff shortages due to many employees suffering from COVID-19. It has also been seen that the omicron variant appears to be causing less severe disease than the delta.
Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that health workers who do not have symptoms could return to work after seven days after having a negative diagnostic test. The period Quarantine can be further reduced if there is a shortage of staff.
Last week, France announced that it allowed healthcare workers with mild or asymptomatic symptoms to continue caring for patients rather than isolate themselves.
In the Phoenix area, Dignity Health, a large hospital operator, sent a memo to staff stating that those infected with the virus and feel well enough to work could request permission from their managers to return to care. The patients.
"We are doing everything we can to ensure that our employees can safely return to work while protecting our patients and staff from the spread of COVID-19," Dignity Health said in a statement.
In California, the Department of Public Health reported that the new policy was established in the face of "critical staff shortages." He asked hospitals to make every attempt to fill in the gaps by bringing in employees from outside staffing agencies.
The 100,000-member California Nurses Association opposed the decision, warning it would lead to more infections.
Governor Gavin Newsom and other state health leaders "are putting the needs of healthcare corporations before the safety of patients and workers," said Cathy Kennedy, president of the association, in a statement. "We want to take care of our patients and see them. improve, not potentially infect them".
Earlier this month in Rhode Island, a state psychiatric hospital and rehab center allowed staff who tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms to work.