A healthcare system in Rhode Island imposed a strict coronavirus mandate for their health workers in the fall and fired all of their unvaccinated workers. Now that same healthcare system has decided to let staff who test positive for the coronavirus work.
“Also, facility administrators should be using their clinical judgment in making staffing decisions. For example, a facility may opt for a COVID-19 positive worker to only care for COVID-19 positive patients,” Joseph Wendelken, a spokesperson from the department of health, told the Providence Journal on Saturday.
From Fox News:
A memo was sent to employees of state-run Eleanor Slater Hospital on Friday explaining that “those who are exposed or have a positive Covid test but are asymptomatic” can continue reporting to work “in crisis situations for staffing” if they wear N95 masks.
Workers at other hospitals and skilled nursing homes in the state who are “mildly symptomatic” can also continue working if the facilities are facing a staffing crisis, according to the Rhode Island Department of Health. Any hospital that needs to activate crisis staffing mode needs to notify the state Department of Health.
According to a local NBC affiliate in Rhode Island, the state forced the termination of hundreds of health care workers which caused a shortage of workers to deal with the current surge.
Health officials in Rhode Island reported that “no facility has reported to us yet that they are in a position that requires COVID-19 positive healthcare providers to be working. If a facility does reach that point, that information would be posted publicly so patients and families would be aware.”
Can somebody please explain to me the logic of firing unvaccinated nurses but allowing “mildly symptomatic” healthcare workers to be around patients?