Less than a month after issuing a strict vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, the California Department of Public health is now calling on workers with Covid-19 to come to work regardless, in a bid to cover staffing shortages.
According to new guidelines issued by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on Saturday, healthcare workers who test positive for Covid-19 will no longer have to isolate and can return to work immediately without a negative test, as long as they are not showing symptoms.
In a statement to NBC News, the CDPH described the new guidance as a “temporary tool” to mitigate staffing shortages and the increased demand being placed on healthcare providers due to a surge in Covid-19 cases. The CDPH added that hospitals should have workers with Covid-19 interact only with Covid-positive patients “to the extent possible.”
Healthcare workers and their unions have fiercely criticized the new policy.