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Rhode Island Allowing COVID Positive Health Care Workers to Work Amid Shortages

Rhode Island Allowing COVID Positive Health Care Workers to Work Amid Shortages

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.”

Wendelken said:

“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.


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Don’t you get it ? Unvax employees are more dangerous than vaxed with positive test.

I don’t know why you can’t see that.

Lol – better put in /sarc tag before someone flames this post.


You can only enter the state of Hawaii if
1) you are vaxed (irrespective of current infection status)
2) if you documentation of negative test in last 3 days

Same rule to enter any public establishment –
1) must be vaxed or
2) show negative covid test in last 3 days.

an employee of mine was in hawaii last week – sitting on beach with 2 other adult siblings and was told by several “karens” that they needed to be more than 6 ft apart.

    TargaGTS in reply to Joe-dallas. | January 3, 2022 at 3:35 pm

    IANAL…but, I’m almost positive the entry criteria you’ve stipulated only applies to non-US citizens. States cannot bar entry for any reason to a US citizen thanks to that pesky Bill of Rights.

      Colonel Travis in reply to TargaGTS. | January 3, 2022 at 4:00 pm

      US citizens need to register with the state online at some site before going AND prove their full vaccination status (whatever the hell that means anymore). My in-laws are headed there in a few weeks.

      A federal judge ruled in 2020 that Hawaii could quarantine visitors for 2 weeks. I think subsequent challenges have all failed.

      Subotai Bahadur in reply to TargaGTS. | January 3, 2022 at 5:52 pm

      I believe that under Democrat state and Federal governments, said Constitution and Bill of Rights are void due to threat of brute force.

      Subotai Bahadur

    sitting on beach with 2 other adult siblings and was told by several “karens” that they needed to be more than 6 ft apart

    6 ft with viable legal indemnity. 9 ft if you follow the science. On the beach, where there is zero chance of transmission, not impossible, but improbable, follow the cargo cult.

      alaskabob in reply to n.n. | January 3, 2022 at 8:21 pm


      Actually keeping the un-vaxed away leaves them safer from the cesspool of the vaccinated-infected-contageous.

2smartforlibs | January 3, 2022 at 3:28 pm

Seems firing them was mistake number one.

    henrybowman in reply to 2smartforlibs. | January 3, 2022 at 5:24 pm

    I read recently that “politically qualified” flight attendants are now extorting the airlines for 2x salary, and “politically qualified” pilots for 3x. Hope the supply chain for my popcorn holds out.

So, the goal is not immunity, but vaccination, which may coincide, but, in the context of Covid-19, -20, -21, and -22, diverges shortly in time and variants.

Will these rehires have a red letter C painted on their chests?

    henrybowman in reply to Whitewall. | January 4, 2022 at 6:20 pm

    They could, but then the state would have to mandate that they all work in “Naughty Nurse” costumes so the letter would be visible at all times.

    (Be on the lookout for Providence bureaucrats loading their portfolios with stock in Amazing Intimate Essentials.)

Good. The faster the spread, the sooner to herd immunity.

“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”

Really?…this is geneticist testing on humans.

    alaskabob in reply to gonzotx. | January 3, 2022 at 8:23 pm

    When DNA becomes DNR.

      CapeBuffalo in reply to alaskabob. | January 3, 2022 at 11:25 pm

      Just to put things in perspective. Last week, four family members traveled to Oregon to attend a “fully vaccinated “ “ safe” , family Christmas celebration with 20 plus people . On their way home to the Bay Area, they stayed at our un- vaccinated , un-infected Northstate home. Even before arriving they received texts that their hosts were testing posible for COVID !. The next day , more news, three more testing positive. As of now , six positive!
      As of now , we are NOT positive.
      The lesson learned, this vaccination is next to useless for most people.

        I’m 50.
        I’m not vaccinated.
        At Christmas, my mostly vaccinated family ALL caught it. It knocked them on their asses for 2-6 days.

        Except me. I felt like it was taking a while longer to recover from workouts and took a day or two off from working out, but otherwise, fine.

        I’m really fit.
        I don’t drink alcohol (very rare)
        I take a multivitamin daily.

        That’s not saying I’m superhuman, but there is very little perspective.

MANY unvaccinated HCW’s are refusing because they understand the power of natural immunity. The limited data to suggest that previously infected need vaccination are 2 flawed studies done by the CDC and published in MMWR.
I took the first vax. It left me with long term issues. I WILL NOT take the booster. The side effects of these vaccines have been minimized. The fact that as a society we are willing to inject this stuff, with no long term safety data and with no obvious benefit into children shows how very sick we have become as a society.

The vaccine is risky, with more deaths reported to VAERS than all vaccines combined for 30 years. Not to speak of the high number of permanently disabled as a result of the vaccine. There is evidence of fraud in the vaccine studies. The J and J manufacturer has multiple lab violations. But most importantly, the vaccine compromises the immune system in your nose, throat and lungs, making you more susceptible to illness. This is why health care workers won’t take it. You are better off taking a mild prophylactic of vitamin D, zinc, quercetin, vitamin C, losing weight and exercising outdoors daily.

e pluribus unum | January 4, 2022 at 11:23 am

Had we followed the suggestions of The Great Barrington Declaration – protect the vulnerable and let the young and healthy continue their lives as normal- this virus would be so far in the rear-view mirror by now.
Everything Fauci and the CDC recommended slowed down our ability to reach herd immunity.