L.A. Hospitals Can Ask COVID-Positive Staff To Keep Working
As the omicron variant continues to infect tens of thousands of Angelenos each day, hospital administrators are weighing whether to ask staff infected with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic to work.
More than 3,900 patients are currently hospitalized in L.A. County with COVID-19. State models predict that by Jan. 20, the number will surpass 8,300 — more than double what we’re seeing now.
Hospitals are already struggling to stay adequately staffed, with some asking the state to send the National Guard or travel nurses to fill gaps.
Hospital staff reported the highest proportion of COVID-19 cases in L.A. County, compared with other health facilities such as nursing homes. Almost 200 hospital staff tested positive between Dec. 26 and Jan.1, the most recent data available. That number has surely ballooned during the dramatic increase in cases over the past 10 days.
In response to the shortages, the state health department on Saturday issued new guidance to hospitals and nursing homes: Workers who are infected but have no symptoms may immediately return to work without isolation or additional testing, as well as those who have been exposed. The new guidelines remain in effect until Feb. 1.
The guidelines say hospitals should exhaust all other options first, and positive health workers should only be assigned to COVID-19 patients. The workers are required to wear N95 masks.
It’s unclear how many L.A. hospitals are asking asymptomatic health workers to continue to provide care.
A representative from St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood said in a statement that “nurses who fall under this criteria may choose to return to work or follow the guidelines for sick leave as set forth in their nursing contract.” The representative could not provide the number of nurses who “have chosen to return to work.”
Other hospitals are waiting to decide. The L.A. County Department of Health Services, which runs four hospitals and 24 health centers, said in a statement that it has “not adopted or issued an official policy containing the January 8th California Department of Public Health guidelines ... Health care workers who test positive and are asymptomatic are not being returned to work without testing prior to finishing their isolation.”
Nurses unions have pushed back against the controversial guidance, calling for it to be scrapped.
April Valentine died at Centinela Hospital. Her daughter was born by emergency C-section. She'd gone into the pregnancy with a plan, knowing Black mothers like herself were at higher risk.
Before navigating domestic life in the United States, AAPI immigrants often navigated difficult lives in their motherlands, dealing with everything from poverty to war.
There are plenty of factors in life that contribute to happiness. But could keeping in touch with your loved ones be the most important?
The new California law makes it a crime to sell flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes.
CVS And Walgreens Agree To Pay $10B — About $510M To California — To Settle Lawsuits Linked To Opioid SalesCalifornia is expected to get about $510 million from the settlement
#Snapback perpetuates unrealistic postpartum expectations.