Health

Dignity Health Approves Arizona Hospital Virus Positive Workers

A major healthcare provider in Arizona will allow employees with mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 symptoms to continue working in their hospitals and facilities.

Due to the rapid spread of the omicron variant in Maricopa County and in anticipation of further growth, Dignity Health officials said they have enacted a “third tier” of federal guidelines for healthcare providers with coronavirus.

“These guidelines allow medical personnel who test positive for COVID-19 who are asymptomatic or who are improving mildly to operate without a quarantine period,” Dignity Health said in a statement. “We are committed to ensuring that our employees can return to work safely, protecting our patients and staff from the transmission of COVID-19.”

A memo sent to Dignity Health staff says those who are infected with the coronavirus and feel well enough to work can request a work permit from their manager.

However, these employees will be required to wear an N-95 mask for 10 days after they tested positive.

The omicron variant spreads even more easily than other strains of the coronavirus and has already become dominant in many countries. It also infects more easily those who have been vaccinated or have previously been infected with previous versions of the virus.

Although early research suggests omicron is less likely to cause severe illness and hospitalization than the previous delta variant, hospitals across the state are still overcrowded.

Health officials in Arizona on Sunday reported 69 more deaths from COVID-19 as the omicron variant continued to spread.

The state also reported 15,850 additional confirmed infections.

This comes after 88 deaths and 16,504 cases were reported on Saturday, the highest number of cases in Arizona on a single day of the year.

The state has fewer than 1.5 million cases and fewer than 25,000 deaths during the pandemic.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day moving average daily number of new cases in Arizona has tripled in the past two weeks from 2,945.6 on December 23 to 9,091.6 on Thursday.

The state’s rolling average daily deaths fell from 60.9 to 55.3 over the same period.


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