On Jan. 8, the California Department of Public Health issued guidance for hospital workers that test positive, allowing vaccinated, asymptomatic workers, to return without isolation or testing.
California is now suffering its self-imposed worker shortage after firing thousands of unvaccinated workers. Now, to fill in all the positions from the unvaccinated workers that they fired, they come to an idea to have those COVID positive workers go back to work. Can anyone tell me this idea isn’t crazy?
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According to the News Yahoo report:
State officials are attempting to address California’s staffing shortage through a sweeping policy change that allows asymptomatic healthcare workers who have tested positive for the coronavirus to return to work immediately. The policy, set to remain in place through Feb. 1, is designed to keep many healthcare workers on the job at a time when hospitals are expecting more patients.
Some experts say California’s stance is an unorthodox yet necessary solution to a difficult problem. Yet many healthcare workers and community members say the policy is not only ill-advised, it’s potentially dangerous.
According to the guidelines, hospitals should exhaust all other options before resorting to the new policy, and workers who have tested positive for the virus should “preferably be assigned to work with COVID-19 positive patients.” The workers must always wear N95 masks.
The announcement was met with outrage by many in the healthcare industry.
The decision is “irresponsible and a huge mistake that will jeopardize everyone’s health,” said Rosanna Mendez, executive director of SEIU 121RN, a union representing workers in Southern California. “This plan is unscientific and dangerous, and, given what we know about the transmissibility of the new variant, we believe it will put healthcare workers and patients at unnecessary risk.”
The decision came shortly before the Supreme Court blocked an OSHA mandate that would have required all employees of private companies to be vaccinated. The Supreme Court upheld the part of the mandate that requires healthcare workers to be vaccinated, however.