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The exponential increase in Covid infections due to its Omicron variant is causing extreme situations in the United States, such as the fact that Hospital workers who have tested positive for the virus continue to work to care for the ever-increasing number of patients.
The AP news agency announced that over the weekend the California health authorities announced that workers with Covid in hospitals they could continue working as long as they do not present symptoms.
Other hospitals in Rhode Island and Arizona are working under the same conditions, or as long as there are only mild symptoms of respiratory disease.
Although controversial, the measure is being applied due to the serious shortage of hospital personnel and the overwhelming number of cases that have been reported since the beginning of the year.
A large number of hospitals are not only overloaded with cases, but are suffering from severe staff shortages by the number of employees who have contracted Covid.
In Phoenix, Dignity Health communicated to its staff that those infected with the virus who “feel well enough to work, they can request the authorization of their managers to return to attend to patients ”.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure that our employees can return to work safely while we protect our patients and staff from the transmissibility of Covid-19“Said Dignity Health.
Meanwhile in California, the Department of Public Health requested the hospitals “That they do everything possible to fill the vacancies by bringing in employees from external staffing agencies.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that state authorities are trying to address California’s workforce shortage by allowing asymptomatic healthcare workers to work without isolation or testing and that the policy will remain in effect until February 1as hospitals wait for more patients.
Some experts question California’s position, but accept that it is necessary for such a difficult problem.
For some health workers and community members, the policy It is not only misguided, but dangerous, because people who are caring for patients can potentially infect them with Covid.
Erin McIntosh, Rapid Response Nurse at Riverside Community Hospital, told the Los Angeles Times: coronavirus-positive workers caring for women in labor, chemotherapy patients and neonatal intensive care patients ”.
This is a tough situation, because “some nurses have too many patients to care for, while others can’t even find an assistant to help carry patients to the bathroom,” McIntosh said.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.