The State of California Now Requires Covid-Positive Health Care Workers to Work.
COVID-positive healthcare employees may be forced to continue working even if they are asymptomatic, according to new guidelines issued by the California Department of Public Health.
“Hospitals and emergency care providers are benefiting from the department’s short-term flexibility in response to a massive increase in patients and staffing shortages. Before turning to this short-term solution, hospitals must exhaust all other options. Asymptomatic COVID-19 positive staff should interact solely with COVID-19 positive patients in facilities and providers employing this tool, to the degree practicable “In a statement, the health agency said.
If a healthcare worker is asymptomatic, they can return to work immediately, according to new guidelines announced by the health department on Saturday.
In light of the recent surge in the omicron strain of the virus across the country, the advisory will be in force until Feb. 1. N-95 respirator masks will be required for all healthcare personnel.
The SEIU, as well as other state health officials and workers, were outraged by the decision.
“Clear standards based on solid evidence are needed to safeguard healthcare professionals and patients. Employers should not be allowed to bring back workers who may still be infectious, which is one of the worst things I’ve heard during this pandemic “According to CBS Sacramento, SEIU California President and Executive Director Bob Schoonover stated.
Because of an increase in cases of the omicron virus, hospitals around the country are having difficulty staffing their facilities. This is especially true in California, where vaccination laws went into force last year, requiring medical staff to get vaccinated or risk being fired. More than 2,000 Kaiser Permanente employees were suspended in October for not being vaccinated, and those who haven’t been vaccinated yet will be fired this month.
Nurses Association President Sandy Reding has warned that patients will be put at risk by the health department’s decision.
According to NBC Bay Area, she remarked, “We are quite concerned.” “We may disseminate the COVID virus inside the hospital as well if you have health care personnel who are COVID positive caring for vulnerable people.”
“In order to prepare for the surge, we need implement protocols to limit transmission.. In other words, no one from the workplace should be carrying the virus, “Reding was added.
For Professor of Epidemiology George Rutherford, though, this is not an unprecedented action.
“Infected individuals are tasked with the responsibility of caring for other infected individuals. This is what we did in South Africa with Ebola. It’s nothing new for us. It’s not the first play option we have in our repertoire. I believe this guideline was issued by the state because of staffing concerns “In an interview with NBC Bay Area, he remarked that.
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According to Fox News, the office of California Governor Gavin Newsom did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new guidelines.
There have been reports of staffing problems in many locations of California, including San Diego. Health care professionals in San Diego are reporting cases of COVID at a rate of six to eight a minute, the chief executive officer of Scripps Health in that city revealed only last week.
Scripps Health CEO Chris Van Gorder tells NBC 7 San Diego that “in the emergency departments, we do have patients that are actually stacked up 20 to 30 in some of the hospitals, waiting for an open bed that will hopefully be available when we discharge people.”
COVID-positive health care employees in Rhode Island have been given the opportunity to continue working if they are experiencing moderate symptoms or are asymptomatic and their facility is in crisis. The adjustment came after the CDC revised its recommendations for health care professionals on quarantine and isolation.