UNAP President issues statement on policy to allow COVID positive workers in hospitals
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- President of the United Nurses and Allied Professionals union, Lynn Blais, R.N., has issued a statement on the state’s COVID policy to allow COVID positive staff to return to work amid the staffing crisis. UNAP, the state’s largest healthcare union, represents more than 7,000 nurses and health professionals.
Blais said the following,
“The UNAP is unequivocally opposed to the state’s decision allowing COVID-19 positive health care workers to work in Rhode Island health care facilities. First and foremost, we believe that it’s critically important to ensure a healthy workforce in which health care workers are not spreading the virus to other workers and, more importantly, to at-risk patients who are susceptible to the most harmful effects of the virus. Second, this policy will likely come with the unintended consequence of exacerbating staffing shortages when more workers in hospitals become infected with COVID-19, get sick, and are forced to quarantine. The UNAP believes that only health care workers who are asymptomatic, have a negative test, and continue to wear a mask should be returning to the workforce after 5 days. Lastly, we again urge all Rhode Islanders to get vaccinated and boosted if they haven’t already. This is the one proven solution to limit hospitalizations and the resulting staffing issues that these hospitalizations create, and most importantly prevent avoidable death and suffering.”
Coverage of the RIDOH decision to allow this change for staffing can be found here.