The California Department of Public Health issued new guidance on Saturday (Jan. 8) allowing hospitals to force health care workers who are positive for SARS-CoV-2 to continue working if they are asymptomatic.
“The department is providing temporary flexibility to help hospitals and emergency services providers respond to an unprecedented surge and staffing shortages. Hospitals have to exhaust all other options before resorting to this temporary tool. Facilities and providers using this tool, should have asymptomatic COVID-19 positive workers interact only with COVID-19 positive patients to the extent possible,” the health department said in a statement.
Health care workers don’t have to isolate or test negative for SARS-CoV-2 and can immediately return to work if they are asymptomatic, according to new state guidelines in effect until Feburary 1.