From Mandates To Forcing COVID-positive Health Care Employee To Work

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  1. Sharlee01 profile image83
    Sharlee01posted 10 months ago

    https://hubstatic.com/15850022_f1024.jpg
    California went from mandating vaccines to forcing COVID-positive health care employees to work. The guidance is facing pushback, but one health expert says the move isn't unprecedented.

    With the highly contagious omicron variant sending more people to California hospitals, the California Department of Public Health issued new guidelines Saturday, in an effort to make sure there is enough staff to handle the increase.

    According to new state guidelines, health care workers who test positive for COVID-19 will no longer have to isolate or test negative and can return to work immediately If they are asymptomatic.

    Medical Staffing issues have plagued hospitals across the country as the omicron variant of the virus spikes, including in California where vaccine mandates were put into effect last year requiring health workers to get vaccinated or face termination. Health giant Kaiser Permanente suspended more than 2,000 unvaccinated employees in October and said those who still have not been vaccinated.

    "The department is providing temporary flexibility to help hospitals and emergency services providers respond to an unprecedented surge and staffing shortages. Hospitals have to exhaust all other options before resorting to this temporary tool. Facilities and providers using this tool should have asymptomatic COVID-19 positive workers interact only with COVID-19 positive patients to the extent possible," the health department said in a statement.

    The announcement sparked outrage from the SEIU, as well as other health officials and workers in the state.

    "Healthcare workers and patients need the protection of clear rules guided by strong science. Allowing employers to bring back workers who may still be infectious is one of the worst ideas I have heard during this pandemic, and that’s really saying something," Bob Schoonover, President of SEIU California and Executive Director of SEIU California, said

    The president of the California Nurses Association, Sandy Reding, said the health department's move will put patients at risk. "We are very concerned," she said, according to NBC Bay Area. "If you have health care workers who are COVID positive care for vulnerable populations, we can spread the COVID virus inside the hospital as well."

    "If we are going to set up for the surge, let’s set up protocols to have transmission reduced. This means not having COVID positive people come to work," Reding added.  Source   https://www.foxnews.com/us/california-h … e-working.

    And to make all worse, there is this ---   https://www.npr.org/sections/health-sho … ign-nurses    ---   "Short-staffed and COVID-battered, U.S. hospitals are hiring more foreign nurses
    January 6, 2022"

    ""Temporary Isolation, Quarantine and Return to Work Criteria for HCP
    Due to the critical staffing shortages currently being experienced across the health care continuum because of the rise in the Omicron variant, effective January 8, 2022 through February 1, 2022, CDPH is temporarily adjusting the return-to-work criteria. During this time, this guidance will supersede the tables below.

    During this time, HCPs who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and are asymptomatic may return to work immediately without isolation and without testing, and HCPs who have been exposed and are asymptomatic may return to work immediately without quarantine and without testing. These HCPs must wear an N95 respirator for source control. Facilities implementing this change must have made every attempt to bring in additional registry or contract staff and must have considered modifications to non-essential procedures.

    These HCPs should preferably be assigned to work with COVID-19 positive patients. However, this may not always be possible in settings such as the emergency department in which you may not know which patients are COVID-19 positive or in areas where you may be experiencing extreme staffing shortages."
    Spurce   https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHCQ/L … 21-08.aspx

    Is it just me? Or Is this all just one big ass mess?
     
    Does it very well appear this decision to ask medical staff work that are positive for COVID asymptomatic, yet still able to spread COVID?

    It seems that the decisions California has been making are demands. First, they demand healthcare workers be vaccinated. Then, at this point, they hope they now will work even if positive for COVID. Maybe American's object to being forced to take vaccines, and will most likely not appreciate guidelines to work when testing positive for COVID. Being an RN I can share this sentiment---  Healthcare workers save lives, not endanger lives. We are funny that way --- LOL

    It would appear some states have made the mistake of trying to use force instead of respecting citizens' rights.

    Any thoughts?

    1. Castlepaloma profile image73
      Castlepalomaposted 10 months agoin reply to this

      Funny, In Nova Scotia our hospital nurses demanded to be not vaccinated. They got their wish because Hospitals are crying for them.
      Same in alot of pro sports, they are allowing unvaccinated players to play. Why? the vaccinated players all got covid.

    2. GA Anderson profile image90
      GA Andersonposted 10 months agoin reply to this

      I have one . . . From a brief look-around, and unless I missed a source you found, the title and lead-in are misleading, (and the choice of "forced" leads me to think it was purposeful). Where did "allowing" turn into "forcing"? I didn't find any listed health dept.`guidance' that implied or inferred, (at least to my reading), forcing anyone to work.

      On the flip-side, I did find one blurb from a doctor that makes good sense to me.

      In the context of the health dept. guidance; the terms are "allow" and they, (positive healthcare workers), would be used only in infected patient areas; The Doc said it was like what has been done with past pandemics, (he mentioned ebola in Africa), let the infected care for the infected.

      GA

      1. Sharlee01 profile image83
        Sharlee01posted 10 months agoin reply to this

        "Temporary Isolation, Quarantine and Return to Work Criteria for HCP
        Due to the critical staffing shortages currently being experienced across the health care continuum because of the rise in the Omicron variant, effective January 8, 2022 through February 1, 2022, CDPH is temporarily adjusting the return-to-work criteria. During this time, this guidance will supersede the tables below.

        During this time, HCPs who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and are asymptomatic may return to work immediately without isolation and without testing, and HCPs who have been exposed and are asymptomatic may return to work immediately without quarantine and without testing. These HCPs must wear an N95 respirator for source control. Facilities implementing this change must have made every attempt to bring in additional registry or contract staff and must have considered modifications to non-essential procedures.

        These HCPs should PREFERABLY  be assigned to work with COVID-19 positive patients. However, this MAY NOT always be possible in settings such as the emergency department in which you may not know which patients are COVID-19 positive or in areas where you may be experiencing extreme staffing shortages."
        https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHCQ/L … 21-08.aspx

        I will admit my heading went overboard, but my OP offers non- hyperbolic info.

        I will add the quote in regard to the New California guidelines with the source.

        By the way, if you had the need to be hospitalized would you be up for being cared for by staff that may be assigned to you that are non-symptomatic but tested positive for COVID? I mean you have no way of knowing if a worker was "preferably be assigned to COVID" or perhaps another area where they were short-staffed. One thing this new guideline will bring is lots of lawsuits. Oh well...

        I can pretty well guarantee the doc you quoted would care...

        But good catch on my heading, I wish I could change it, hopefully, users will read the OP, and just remind me I was hyperbolic in my heading.

        1. GA Anderson profile image90
          GA Andersonposted 10 months agoin reply to this

          Your quote was one of the ones I found. While you chose to emphasize "PREFERRED" I would have emphasized "may."

          As for your question . . .If I were coming into an emergency room I would prefer any help rather than no help.

          And relative to what you think the Doc would think . . .Who knows, but he did use the ebola example with a `we' in a context I took as him being involved. So *shrug.


          GA

          1. Sharlee01 profile image83
            Sharlee01posted 10 months agoin reply to this

            "Your quote was one of the ones I found. While you chose to emphasize "PREFERRED" I would have emphasized "may."

            Ok, fair point ---  But as long as we are talking preferred. I would have preferred you responded to the OP instead of just a poorly worded
            heading. But, I am pleased you responded period.

            "As for your question . . .If I were coming into an emergency room I would prefer any help rather than no help."

            Also fair -- But I did not mention an emergency room in my direct question, I asked if you need to be hospitalized?  Exposed to floor staff perhaps for a long period of time... But respect your braveness.

            1. GA Anderson profile image90
              GA Andersonposted 10 months agoin reply to this

              I thought I was addressing the OP and its title: ". . . found, the title and lead-in ", Maybe I should have completed "lead-in" with `lead-in sentence' to be more clear.

              I also feel I addressed the OP, and not just its title, in my following responses. I did skip the "foreign nurses" part because it seemed to be a separate issue.

              Of course the location of care given makes a difference but does the emergency room choice, or further—isolation units,  change the thought?

              It doesn't for me. Your question included "need" for hospitalization, not a choice to hospitalized. If whatever I need can be handled by a clinic then I don't need hospitalization. If not, then whatever I need is serious enough for me to hold my original thought: any care is better than no care. Just tell me where to sign.

              Once past the misstep of trying to turn "may" into `must' I don't see anything more than partisan extrapolations—mights and maybes, in both the article blurbs and your comments relative to them.

              Beyond the illusion of being a brass ring issue for Republicans, I don't see anything wrong with the new guidance. It makes sense to me.

              And just for a chuckle, consider the `optics'—Republicans siding with unions . . . Priceless!

              GA

              1. Sharlee01 profile image83
                Sharlee01posted 10 months agoin reply to this

                I can only say one thing -- You are the type of patient most nurses pray for. One that does not ask questions, and just appreciate having a room with a bed, not looking for a private room.   I mean I can honestly say this statement made me smile. " any care is better than no care".

                I just hope to hell you just stay healthy, and don't live in California.

                And these guidelines out of California are defiantly a shiny brass ring. And most likely will be "the gift that keeps on giving".

                1. Castlepaloma profile image73
                  Castlepalomaposted 10 months agoin reply to this

                  California tops the list with an estimated 44,500 deficit in registered nurses, nearly three times the deficit in the next shortest state. Texas, New Jersey and South Carolina will lack more than 10,000 RNs; Alaska, Georgia and South Dakota will each be short several thousand.

                  This report was back in September. With California skyrocketing covid Cases,  today , can't  Imagine how bad it is now   California once, I thought was the best place in the world. Now, wouldn't go back.

                  1. Sharlee01 profile image83
                    Sharlee01posted 10 months agoin reply to this

                    Yes, we are having a nationwide shortage of nurses. Here in Michigan, several counties received Federal Government healthcare workers due to shortages. It is a huge problem that jas been neatly tucked under the carpet.

                    It is clear California is disregarding the safety of Pts to keep their hospitals staffed.

      2. Valeant profile image86
        Valeantposted 10 months agoin reply to this

        Wait, a Fox News headline that is misleading?  And that misleading headline then becomes fodder for this site.  If we wanted to be deceived by Fox News, we would just watch Fox News.

        1. Castlepaloma profile image73
          Castlepalomaposted 10 months agoin reply to this

          Try to avoid mainstream News and politics as much as possible. I take my information from a several places that of most reliable sourced. Then form my opinion on good sense.

    3. Sharlee01 profile image83
      Sharlee01posted 10 months agoin reply to this

      CDC recommendations for healthcare workers --- positive but non-symptomatic.

      HCP who were asymptomatic throughout their infection and are not moderately to severely immunocompromised:

      At least 7 days if a negative antigen or NAAT is obtained within 48 hours prior to returning to work (or 10 days if testing is not performed or a positive test at day 5-7) have passed since the date of their first positive viral test. Source   https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nc … t-hcp.html

  2. Fayetteville Faye profile image60
    Fayetteville Fayeposted 10 months ago

    This is the California department of health buckling under pressure from large corporations motivated by profit, such as Kaiser Permanente.  Kaiser is well known for putting profit above the public good.
    The state health department shouldn't be subservient to corporate interest.
    Our country has a long history of corporations skirting safety measures. That's eventually what led to the rise of unions. I see that the healthcare unions are heavily involved in California.
    "Our union will fight for safe working conditions for hospital workers who have continuously put their lives on the line during this pandemic," says Dave Regan, president of SEIU-UHW. "We intend to expose any hospital employer who knowingly puts patients at risk by forcing COVID positive caregivers back to work."
    Hopefully they'll be successful. It's a shameful situation.

    1. Sharlee01 profile image83
      Sharlee01posted 10 months agoin reply to this

      My Girl Faye --- you just said a mouthful. and I agree 100%

      I worked over 20 years as a nurse, I can tell you we went to wherever the administration needed us to go to care for Pts. And I enjoyed feeling well needed.  I was asked in the early months to return to work by the state of Michigan to help out with the shortages in the first months of COVID, and I was glad to help one day a week. It was dangerous, and hard due to the confusion that came with so many severely sick Pts. But I can honestly say if any staff tested positive they were sent home and quarantined like all citizens. No one was asked to work that could spread COVID sick or not.

      It is very disturbing to me to see this kind of guideline. It goes against the very reason we go into the medical field.

      I watched lots of problematic things going on at the beginning of treating COVID, and I also watched many problems be solved. This new guideline will only work to spread COVID, not stop the spread.

 
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