Despite the fact that Americans have endured a number of disparate and undulating suggestions from the health care experts regarding the spread and severity of the omicron variant of COVID-19, perhaps no single bit of guidance is as confusing as what’s going on in California.
That’s because the Golden State has just adjusted their regulations to allow for health care workers who test positive for COVID to continue working.
Daylong waits in the emergency room. No one to answer the phones. No one to take out the trash. And more patients arriving each day.
That’s the scene playing out at some hospitals across Southern California as the Omicron-fueled surge of COVID-19 contributes to a crippling shortage of doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers. While Omicron is causing significantly fewer serious illnesses than last year’s winter surge, the unprecedented number of people becoming infected has left the medical infrastructure on edge.
This is where this harebrained idea came into being.
State officials are attempting to address California’s staffing shortage through a sweeping policy change that allows asymptomatic healthcare workers who have tested positive for the coronavirus to return to work immediately. The policy, set to remain in place through Feb. 1, is designed to keep many healthcare workers on the job at a time when hospitals are expecting more patients.
Some experts say California’s stance is an unorthodox yet necessary solution to a difficult problem. Yet many healthcare workers and community members say the policy is not only ill-advised, it’s potentially dangerous.
The move runs contradictory to just about everything we’ve heard about COVID-19, and from the very onset of the pandemic.
One has to wonder just how mismanaged the state of California could be in order to even consider such a thing.