The pandemic is reaching new heights with the number of new cases being confirmed, new hospitalizations, and new death counts in the state of Maine.
Since July of last summer, daily counts in the State of Maine have continually risen due to the Delta variant emerging and have spiked considerably during the late fall due to the introduction of the latest variant, Omicron.
Hospital resources across the State of Maine are running thin with a record number of hospital staff not being able to work due to positive COVID testing. Last week, the Bangor Daily News reported 1,000 healthcare staff across the State of Maine missed work on one day due to testing positive or having been exposed to COVID.
Maine Hospital Announces Crisis Conditions
One hospital in Maine has just decided to allow COVID positive and symptomatic staff to continue to work due to the staffing shortages the healthcare industry is facing now with the pandemic.
According to NEWS CENTER Maine, St. Mary's out of Lewiston states that allowing staff who test positive for COVID and are symptomatic will be placed in COVID-only units and continue to wear appropriate PPE to continue safety measures in the hospital setting.
National, Maine CDC Crisis Recommendations for Healthcare Settings
In the final days of December, the National CDC and Maine CDC announced that usual protocol could be adjusted for crisis circumstances, such as allowing COVID positive and 'mildly symptomatic' healthcare workers to continue working:
"Under crisis conditions, such personnel can remain at work or can return to work at less than five days, if asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, as a last resort, without testing. These healthcare personnel should wear a respirator or well-fitting facemask even when they are in non-patient care areas. Facilities should consider assigning these healthcare personnel to duties that do not include care of immunocompromised or pregnant patients. "
The hospital states that the stress of the workload on healthy hospital staff combined with the increasingly high number of patients being seen has been a factor in this decision.
What are your thoughts?
We want to know, with the state of our healthcare industry in crisis but the very place that you go to get treated could create an environment and experience that would expose you to sick healthcare workers, would you be okay with being treated by a COVID positive and symptomatic healthcare staff?