Arizona supplier approves hospital workers positive for virus | Health

PHOENIX (AP) – A major health care provider in Arizona will allow employees who have mild symptoms of COVID-19 or who are asymptomatic to continue working at its hospitals and facilities.

Due to the rapid spread of the omicron variant in Maricopa County and in anticipation of a continued increase, Dignity Health officials said they have adopted the “third level” of federal guidelines for healthcare workers with coronavirus .

“These guidelines allow COVID-19 positive healthcare workers who are asymptomatic or who are improving with mild symptoms to work without a quarantine period,” Dignity Health officials said in a statement. “We are doing everything possible to ensure that our employees can return to work safely while protecting our patients and staff from the communicability of COVID-19. “

A note sent to staff at Dignity Health said those infected with the coronavirus and feeling well enough to work can apply for permission to work from their manager.

However, these employees should wear an N-95 mask for 10 days after testing positive.

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The omicron variant spreads even more easily than other strains of coronavirus and has already become dominant in many countries. It also more easily infects those who have been vaccinated or had already been infected with previous versions of the virus.

Although early studies show that omicron is less likely to cause serious illness and hospitalization than the previous delta variant, hospitals statewide remain overcrowded.

Arizona health officials reported 69 more deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday as the omicron variant continued to spread.

The state also reported 15,850 additional confirmed infections.

That followed Saturday’s total of 88 deaths and 16,504 cases, the most Arizona cases reported in a day in a year.

The state has counted fewer than 1.5 million cases and less than 25,000 deaths during the pandemic.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day moving average of new daily cases in Arizona has tripled in the past two weeks, from 2,945.6 on December 23 to 9,091.6 on Thursday.

The state’s moving average of daily deaths fell from 60.9 to 55.3 over the same period.

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