We received an email at 6pm on Friday, November 13th stating that there would be a change to the quarantine guidelines in the new CORONA VIRUS UPDATE (#68). We requested and reviewed these new guidelines and we found them to be consistent with the CDC guidelines published on November 6th. Please take the time to read the guidelines and educate yourself on what to do if exposed or you have symptoms!!
The main change in the guidelines is that colleagues who have experienced an exposure and are asymptomatic will now need to continue to work. In addition, testing will be determined based on the type of exposure.
This is a significant change because it is saying that if someone has had an exposure which requires quarantine, that person will need to continue to work even if they are asymptomatic!!
Why the sudden change? STAFFING AND VOLUME!
Many area hospitals will soon be jumping to Crisis Measure Staffing. But, in fact, they should be instituting contingency measures first as cases rise. This is what the CDC recommends.
THIS DOES NOT MEAN WE WORK IF WE ARE SICK!! There were several incidents over the weekend of November 13th/14th where members were bullied by managers into working WITH SYMPTOMS!!! This was reported to the DEPARTMENT of HEALTH (NJDOH) and an immediate inspection was requested!! This was also reported to OSHA.
When the DOH does come to Virtua, SPEAK UP!! Answer questions honestly! Encourage your co-workers to speak up! Do you think healthcare workers should work following a known exposure especially if managers are bullying staff into working with symptoms? IF YOU ARE SICK DO NOT WORK!! Report any symptoms to a manager, call the hotline and get tested!!
Have a SAFE and Healthy Thanksgiving holiday!! I am thankful for everyone of you on the FRONTLINES!!
President , Local 5105