In California, Hospitals Can Force COVID-Infected Staff To Work, But Unvaxxed Workers Get Fired

In California, Hospitals Can Force COVID-Infected Staff To Work, But Unvaxxed Workers Get Fired


New guidance from the California Department of Public Health allows hospitals to force asymptomatic but COVID-positive employees back to work — even after California, other states, and the Biden administration have booted unvaccinated health-care workers out of their jobs, prompting severe staffing shortages.

“Hospitals have to exhaust all other options before resorting to this temporary tool,” the state agency wrote in a statement on Saturday. “Facilities and providers using this tool, should have asymptomatic COVID-19 positive workers interact only with COVID-19 positive patients to the extent possible.”

Hospital employees who have COVID but have no symptoms are not required to test negative or self-isolate before returning to care for hospital patients. The move prompted fury from health-care workers’ unions.

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In August, California was the first

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