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California Nurses: Gov. Newsom ‘Guaranteeing More Transmission’ by Allowing COVID-Infected Hospital Staff to Work

By Craig Bannister | January 11, 2022 | 10:32am EST
(Getty Images/Nicholas Tucat)

“Governor Newsom and our state’s public health leaders are putting the needs of health care corporations before the safety of patients and workers,” the California Nurses Association (CAN) says in a statement condemning the state’s decision to allow COVID-infected nurses to return to work in hospitals.

Asymptomatic health care workers who test positive for Covid-19 or have been exposed to the virus and are asymptomatic can return to work immediately without isolation or testing, under the new policy.

“Newsom and CDPH are in effect guaranteeing more transmission,” CNA warns, issuing a “demand that CDPH rescind its guidance.”

“The California Nurses Association (CNA) condemns the decision by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to let asymptomatic health care workers who test positive for Covid-19 or have been exposed to the virus and are asymptomatic return to work immediately without isolation or testing,” the nation’s largest union and association of nurses says.

“We want to care for our patients and see them get better – not potentially infect them,” says CNA President Cathy Kennedy, RN. “If we get sick, who will be left to care for our patients and community?”

“Am I the only one who perceives the absurdity of this scenario?” physician and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said Monday in a tweet reacting to the California’s Incongruous policy of allowing infected hospital staff to come into work while, at the same time, firing COVID-free staff who haven’t been vaccinated:

“So you can still work in a hospital if you have active COVID but doctors and nurses who don’t have COVID and are unvaccinated are fired. Am I the only one who perceives the absurdity of this scenario?”

“The move is a reaction to the severe hospital staffing shortages and crushing caseloads that the omicron variant is causing,” ABC News explains:

“The highly contagious omicron variant has sent new cases of COVID-19 exploding to over 700,000 a day in the U.S. on average, obliterating the record set a year ago. The number of Americans in the hospital with the virus is running at about 110,000, just short of the peak of 124,000 last January.”

….

“Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that health care workers who have no symptoms can return to work after seven days with a negative test, but that the isolation time can be cut further if there are staffing shortages.”

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