California healthcare workers win stay-at-home battle as COVID-19 looms

Health care workers at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, Calif., will no longer be required to return to work immediately if they are asymptomatic if they test positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus.

In an agreement with SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, hospitals run by Prime Healthcare this week rescinded a policy under which asymptomatic employees could be asked to return to work without following a quarantine or quarantine period or Take a negative test for COVID-19.Instead, the hospital will follow up The latest guidance from the CDCA spokesman for Prime Healthcare said it advised asymptomatic healthcare workers to return to work after five days of isolation.

The spokesperson said that St. Francis Medical Center’s previous policy was in line with California Department of Public Health issues interim guidance on January 8 This enables hospitals and skilled nursing facilities to bring back asymptomatic and exposed workers by February 1 without the need for isolation, isolation or testing to ease staffing shortages during the omicron surge.

SEIU-UHW, which represents the hospital’s roughly 800 employees, claims that nearly all hospitals in California, with the exception of St. Francis Medical Center, have opted not to follow the state’s new guidelines from the state public health department and instead require those infected workers to be tested, quarantined and isolation. Exposure to or infection with COVID-19.

A Prime Healthcare spokesperson said that under previous policy, workers were asked but never asked to return to work without symptoms. Of the hospital’s roughly 2,000 staff, five have been asked to return to work without complying with isolation or quarantine periods, the spokesman said.

In an emailed statement, a Prime Healthcare spokesperson said St. Francis Medical Center “continues to adhere to all CDPH and CDC guidelines.”

“Effective immediately, asymptomatic health care workers who test positive for COVID should follow isolation protocols before returning to work. Workers who test positive and are symptomatic should remain in isolation and refrain from work,” the statement read. “St. Francis continues to develop All safety standards and measures to alleviate staffing shortages, including on-site testing and contact tracing, as we continue to care for patients during this surge.”

A Prime Healthcare spokesman did not say whether other hospitals in the system would have similar policy changes.

SEIU-UHW staff at St. Francis Medical Center staged a protest outside the hospital Wednesday asking them not to return to work after testing positive for COVID-19 or being exposed to the virus without testing or during a quarantine period.

“Thanks to SEIU-UHW members protesting and holding Prime Healthcare accountable for worker and patient safety, and U.S. Rep. Nanette Barragan’s support, St. Francis Medical Center announced that they will no longer pressure COVID-positive nursing staff,” said Renée SEIU -Saldaña, spokesman for UHW.

A Prime Healthcare spokesman said the hospital and union reached an agreement to change the policy before the protest.

medical staff across the country Challenging new CDC guidelines Allow asymptomatic health care workers to return to work after being quarantined or quarantined for five days, saying they Putting patients and healthcare workers at risk.

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