Health officials across the United States are increasingly going forward to take an unprecedented step of allowing nurses and other health care workers infected with the COVID-19 to stay on the job if they are experiencing mild symptoms of the virus or none at all. The recent move is a reaction to the severe shortage of hospitals staffs and crushing Coronavirus caseloads that the Omicron variant is causing.
Over the weekend, California health officials announced that hospital staff members who test positive but have no symptoms could continue working. Likewise, some Arizona and Rhode Island hospitals allow their health staff to stay on the job if they have no signs of the virus or just mild ones. The highly transmissible Omicron variant sent new Coronavirus cases exploding to more than seven hundred thousand per day in the U.S. on average, demolishing the record set one year ago.
United States officials across the country are increasingly taking the exceptional step to allow nurses and other health care staff infected with the COVID-19 to stay on duty if they are facing mild virus symptoms or none at all. pic.twitter.com/3bLLKpdf1Y
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) January 11, 2022
The number of COVID patients in American hospitals is running at around one hundred ten thousand, just short of the highest of one hundred twenty-four thousand last January. Several hospitals are overwhelmed with new virus cases and severely short of staff because of so many workers out with the virus infection. Simultaneously, the Omicron variant appears to be causing milder infections than the Del variant.
Health Care Workers with no Symptoms can Return to Work after Seven Days – CDC
In December 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that health care workers who are symptom-free could return to work after one week with a negative test, but that quarantine time of those patients can be cut further if there are health care staffing shortages. Last week, France health officials announced to allow health care staff with mild or no symptoms to keep treating patients rather than quarantine.
Furthermore, the California Department of Public Health said the current policy prompted amid the critical staffing shortages. It asked hospitals to utilize every source to hire outside staff from the outside staffing agencies to fill openings. On the other hand, infected workers will need to wear N-95 face masks (extra-protective) and should be allowable to treat other Coronavirus-infected patients, CDC said.
In response, the 100000-member California Nurses Association recorded its protest against the decision and warned that it would lead to more infections. State health officials and Governor Gavin Newsom are putting the needs of health care corporations before the safety of workers and patients. Cathy Kennedy stated that the association’s head wanted to care for the patients and prioritize their health – not likely to infect them.
At the start of this month, a state psychiatric hospital and a rehabilitation center in Rhode Island allowed health care staff who tested positive for Coronavirus but were asymptomatic to work. In addition, the chief medical officer at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital, Dr. Hany Atallah, said that they are not yet at the threshold and that workers who test positive are staying away for five days. Omicron is less deadly, but health officials don’t know much about it.