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Dignity Health to allow some COVID-19-positive staff to continue working

By Greg Hahne
Associated Press
Published: Monday, January 10, 2022 - 10:56am
Updated: Tuesday, January 11, 2022 - 7:58am
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Dignity Health has enacted new federal guidelines for health care workers with coronavirus.

Employees who are experiencing mild symptoms or are asymptomatic of COVID-19 may keep working.

Hear Will Humble's interview with host Lauren Gilger on The Show

The new rules come as Maricopa County is experiencing rapid spread of the omicron variant. While data shows omicron is less likely to send people to the hospital, the state’s hospitals are still crowded. 

A memo sent to Dignity Health staff members says those infected with coronavirus and feel well enough to work may request clearance from their manager to show up. But they will need to wear an N95 mask for 10 days after testing positive. 

The guidelines follow the “Crisis” tier restrictions set by the CDC for health care personnel facing staffing shortages. 

Arizona is seeing a massive spike in positive COVID-19 cases as the omicron variant continues to spread.

The Arizona Department of Health Services added 13,937 new coronavirus infections Jan. 10, and as is typical for a Monday, no additional deaths to its daily dashboard. The state has reported more than 100,000 new COVID cases since the beginning of the year. Sometime this week, Arizona may reach 25,000 fatalities since the pandemic began.

According to the Mayo Clinic, 59% of Arizonans are now fully vaccinated, compared to about 63% nationwide.

Hospitals continue to feel the strain in staffing as mostly unvaccinated COVID patients fill their beds. The state reported 94% of inpatient beds are filled today — Intensive Care Units (ICUs) are at 93% capacity.

To discuss this Dignity Health announcement and the latest on this omicron surge, The Show spoke with Will Humble, former director of the Arizona Department of Health Services and current executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association.

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