Maybe, just maybe, you shouldn’t fire unvaccinated workers!
Rhode Island required health care workers to be vaccinated by October 1, 2021. If you failed to comply you lost your job.
Gee, who would have thought that firing so many unvaccinated health care workers would lead to staffing shortages?
A month later, the Rhode Island Department of Health allowed some unvaccinated workers to remain at state-run Eleanor Slater Hospital and other facilities until contracted vaccinated workers could replace them.
The shortages remained.
Now the department will allow COVID positive workers to remain on the job in any facility if they are asymptomatic and wear an N95 mask if a place has a shortage issue:
Asked if the Slater Hospital or any other facility in the state had reached this crisis level, Health Department spokesman Joseph Wendelken told The Journal:
“No, no facility has reported to us yet that they are in a position that requires COVID-19 positive healthcare providers to be working. If a facility does reach that point, that information would be posted publicly so patients and families would be aware.”
That’s odd. WPRI reported on December 28, 2021:
Dr. G. Dean Roye, acting incident commander at Rhode Island Hospital parent Lifespan, pleaded for patience from members of the public seeking care. Its other hospitals are Miriam, Bradley and Newport.
“We are experiencing significant overcrowding in our hospitals – specifically delays for care in our EDs and our ICUs are at capacity — due to crisis staffing levels, as many healthcare workers have left the workforce due to burnout from the ongoing pandemic,” Roye said. “Lifespan, like many other health systems, is severely short-staffed as a result.”
Burnout or forced to leave because they didn’t get the vaccine? Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency physician at Rhode Island Hospital, insisted it has nothing to do with the vaccine mandate.
Rhode Island Health Department Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott admitted the mandate is a “contributing factor” to the staffing shortage.
Let’s say it is not due to the mandate. It sure sounds like the hospitals are in need of workers.
Department spokesman Joseph Wendelken said the facility administrators will decide if the institution needs to hire COVID positive workers since they “understand their patient populations and staffing ratios best.”
The facilities have to notify the department when they hire these people.
Republican state Sen. Jessica de la Cruz wants to know about healthy unvaccinated workers: “RIDOH will allow healthcare staff who test positive w/COVID to work but not unvaxxed healthcare staff who test negative?! Its [sic] time for the state to admit its mistake. We need all hands on deck to address the healthcare crisis. Rehire these qualified & experienced professionals.”
“An unvaccinated healthcare worker is at greater individual risk, given how many COVID-19 positive patients are in facilities.
“Additionally, someone who is vaccinated and who tested positive for COVID-19 has a much lower viral load, compared to someone who is COVID positive and unvaccinated. This means that the likelihood of transmission is much less.”
He again stressed: “Rhode Island is implementing the CDC’s updated quarantine and isolation guidance for healthcare workers. States across the country are implementing this same approach.”
I still do not get it. Just hire them back. They know the risk. I do not get why people who work in the medical field do not want to get every vaccine available to them (except for obvious reasons like religious or medical conditions) but hey. I respect their personal choice.DONATE
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