US Hospitals Letting Infected Staff Members Stay On The Job

FILE - Registered nurse Sara Nystrom, of Townshend, Vt., prepares to enter a patient's room in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, in Lebanon, N.H., Jan. 3, 2022. The omicron variant has caused a surge of new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and many hospitals are not only swamped with cases but severely shorthanded because of so many employees out with COVID-19. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

(AP)–Hospitals around the U.S. are increasingly taking the extraordinary step of allowing nurses and other workers infected with the coronavirus to stay on the job if they have mild symptoms or none at all. The move is a reaction to the severe hospital staffing shortages and crushing caseloads that the omicron variant is causing.

California health authorities say hospital staff members who test positive but are symptom-free can continue working. Some hospitals in Rhode Island and Arizona likewise told employees they can stay on the job if they have no symptoms or just mild ones.


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