CDC approves North Dakota’s decision to permit COVID positive healthcare workers to assist patients

CDC approves North Dakota’s decision to permit COVID positive healthcare workers to assist patients

The hospitals in North Dakota are becoming overwhelmed with coronavirus patients. The situation has pushed the administration to permit coronavirus positive healthcare professionals to continue assisting the patients. However, health care workers are advised to remain asymptomatic and take enhanced measures while attending the patients.

The situation is getting worse in various other states as well related to the increasing number of hospitalizations. There is a possibility that those states will follow the suit and allow their infected healthcare workers to continue providing care to the patients. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidelines for such situations.

“If the shortage continues despite other mitigation strategies, consider implementing criteria to allow HCP with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 who are well enough and willing to work,” stated CDC. If a hospital allows an HCP to work before meeting the criteria, then it should be restricted to assist severely immunocompromised patients.

The suspected or confirmed COVID HCP should be engaged in duties that do not require personal interaction like telemedicine services. The HCP should be allowed to provide care to the patients who have already been tested positive for the coronavirus. The HCP can provide direct care to patients with suspected coronavirus. In the worst shortage situation, they can provide services to the patients without suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

Doug Burgum, the governor of North Dakota, talked about the challenges faced by the hospitals in his state. “Our hospitals are under intense pressure now. We can see the future two, three weeks out, and we know we have severe constraints,” he said. However, North Dakota has not issued an order to require masks at public places. The CDC clarified in the updated guidelines that wearing a mask can slow down the spread of the virus.

Staff writer for the Chicago Morning Star

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