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California Says COVID-Positive Health Workers May Return to Work Amid Shortages

The California Department of Public Health has released guidelines that allow health care networks to allow COVID-19 positive employees to continue working if they are symptom-free.

“The department offers temporary flexibility to help hospitals and emergency service providers respond to unprecedented increases and staff shortages. Hospitals should exhaust all other options before resorting to this temporary tool. Facilities and providers using this tool should have COVID-19 positive asymptomatic workers who only interact with COVID-19 positive patients whenever possible, ”the Department of Public Health said in a statement. . declaration to the media over the weekend.

The Epoch Times has contacted the agency for comment.

State health workers no longer have to isolate or show a negative COVID-19 test, according to guidelines, before returning to work if they are asymptomatic. The directive, which remains in effect until February 1, requires staff to wear N95 respirator masks while on the job.

After the guidelines were issued, several unions representing nurses and other hospital staff expressed concern.

“Healthcare workers and patients need the protection of clear rules guided by sound science. Allowing employers to bring back workers who may still be contagious is one of the worst ideas I’ve heard during this pandemic, and it really does mean something, ”Bob Schoonover, SEIU California union leader, Recount CBS Sacramento.

Schoonover added that while his union supports “additional paid sick leave”, the latest guidelines put at risk an “essential part of the protection workers and the public need”.

California Nurses Association president Sandy Reding told local media that the California Department of Health guidelines would put patients at risk.

“We are very worried,” she said KNTV News. “If you have healthcare workers who are COVID-positive care for vulnerable populations, we can also spread the COVID virus inside the hospital. “

Union officials did not mention the rampant staffing issues that have plagued hospitals across the United States and California in recent days.

The warrants that were put into effect last year by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, required healthcare workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be terminated, despite studies showing immunity nature conferred by a previous infection with COVID-19 shows long-lasting immunity to the virus. Critics of vaccine The Mandates asked why governments and businesses would impose vaccination or sacking policies for “essential workers” – such as nurses and doctors – amid staff shortages during a viral pandemic.

Health giant Kaiser Permanente suspended more than 2,000 unvaccinated employees in October. Other California systems such as Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and Sutter Health also finished or suspended their employees who were not vaccinated in the fall of 2021.

Meanwhile, Dr George Rutherford, professor of epidemiology at the University of California at San Francisco, told KNTV that the revised guidelines were not new.

“It’s about having infected people take care of infected people. We did it with Ebola in South Africa. We already have. This is not the first game option in our playbook. I think the personnel problems are such that they have led the state to publish these guidelines, ”he told the outlet.

This comes a few days after the Newsom administration mandated that booster injections be given to certain health workers by February 1. New York Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, said on Friday she would issue a guideline for all healthcare workers in the state if approved by a public health body. advocacy advice.

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP Virus (Chinese Communist Party).

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