Health authorities around the U.S. are increasingly taking the extraordinary step of allowing nurses and other hospital workers infected with SARS-CoV-2 to stay on the job if they have mild symptoms or none at all.
The move is a reaction to the severe hospital staffing shortages.
In California, health authorities announced (https://t.me/COVID19Up/12814) over the weekend that hospital staff members who test positive but are symptom-free can continue working. In the Phoenix area, Dignity Health sent a memo to staff members saying those infected who feel well enough to work may request clearance from their managers to go back to work. In Rhode Island, a memo went out to employees at Eleanor Slater Hospital telling them they can work even if they test positive.
The 100,000-member California Nurses Association has warned this will lead to more infections.
State health leaders “are putting the needs of health care corporations before the safety of patients and workers,” Cathy Kennedy, the association’s president, said in a statement.
“We want to care for our patients and see them get better—not potentially infect them.”