In the United States, the COVID situation is taking a drastic step. The authorities of the Health Department are now allowing the frontline workers to remain at the job even if they are infected with the virus. Most of them possess no symptoms or mild symptoms. Such a step is indeed an exceptional one. It is really a matter of concern about what would be the consequences of such an initiative.
Risks For The Health Authorities In The COVID Situation
In an announcement last week, the authorities of the California Health sector stated that the health workers without any prominent symptoms of COVID could work without any interruption. No difference will be there in the working schedule even if tested positive. The authorities were forced to take such an action keeping in view the staff shortages due to increasing caseloads.
The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is highly contagious and is spreading at a larger pace than the previous variant. Every day, the US is overflooding with new cases in different corners. Hospitals are exploding with hundreds of patients coming so fast. Current reports show that the average number of patients per day is now around 700,000. Of course, the count is growing at an unbelievable speed.
The new caseload has crossed the records of the previous year also. Last January, the peak record was 124,000. However, this time, it is only short by 110,000. With the outbreak of such a disastrous virus, many health workers are in isolation. As a result, American hospitals face a crisis with an inadequate number of staff.
It was necessary to get help from more health workers to accommodate more patients. The higher authorities did not have any other alternatives than to appoint the workers with COVID. However, they did not show any symptoms for the same.
The severity of the omicron variant is causing only mild illness as per the observations of the specialists. Therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that it is not dangerous to join the work after seven days of isolation. But the final report must come negative. At the time of too much staff shortage, the period of isolation can also be reduced further.
In one of the interviews, Dignity Health said they are taking all the precautions to protect their employees. Enough measures are already in place to prevent more transmissions. They are actively trying to bring back the employees to join the work as soon as possible.
In the US, Dignity Health is one of the leading clinical establishments. Last week, the authorities sent a memo to all the employees. It was an urge for these people to come forward and continue serving the patients if they felt like doing it. There is no pressure, although. They have left the decision to the workers’ discretion and can go ahead with the manager’s approval. However, they must feel well enough to go to work.
Dignity Health yet notifies no new guidelines. Similarly, several other US hospitals are going by the same theory. The new policy of keeping the COVID-positive workers with no symptoms at the hospitals is only to manage the “staff shortages.” However, the hospitals are also trying to hire new employees to fill up the gap in this critical condition.
The department also stated that the already infected workers must come with N95 masks. They are allowed to take care of the COVID-19 patients only. But this decision does not seem favorable for the California Nurses Association.
After following this decision, the members suspect a sharp hike in the number of cases. Almost more than one lakh members have already raised their voices against the issue. Although the potential risk is still there, the hospitals do not have any other option to fight against the situation, at present- said the eminent authorities of the California Health Department.
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