Nurses With Covid Forced to Work Due to Staff Shortages

Nurses With Covid Forced to Work Due to Staff Shortages

( – Rhode Island’s Democratic Gov. Daniel McKee imposed a vaccination mandate on health care workers in late 2021. As a result, hospitals, nursing homes, and home healthcare companies fired hundreds of unvaccinated workers. Rhode Island officials recently adopted a deranged policy to deal with the resulting staff shortages.

On December 31, 2021, the Rhode Island Department of Health issued new COVID-19 quarantine and isolation guidance. In a stunning move, the department authorized medical workers infected with the coronavirus to work during staffing crises provided they have mild symptoms and wear N95 masks.

Local news agencies reported infected workers started actively treating patients in at least two facilities, the state-run Eleanor Slater Hospital and Rhode Island’s Respiratory and Rehabilitation Center, a Coventry nursing home.

Some critics suggested reversing the vaccine mandate and calling fired healthcare personnel back to work would have served as a better solution to staffing shortages.

At least two other states have already issued similar orders allowing COVID-infected personnel to provide in-person patient care. For example, North Dakota’s interim State Health Officer Dirk Wilke issued an order on November 9, 2021. Likewise, New York State Health Department officials issued a new return-to-work guidance on December 24, 2021, for healthcare workers to address staffing shortages.

What do you think about this decision by Rhode Island health officials? Was it a smart move or not?

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