Employees protest after COVID-positive caregivers are pressured back to work by hospital

Feb. 1, 2022

St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, CA, employees protested the hospital’s threat to patients and staff through allowing asymptomatic COVID-positive caregivers to work in the facility, according to a release from the SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW).

Healthcare workers at St. Francis expressed anger at the January 8th guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) allowing acute care hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities to bring healthcare workers back to work after they have tested positive for COVID-19 or been directly exposed without any testing or isolation periods.

Caregivers say that compromising common-sense safety requirements for testing and isolation will increase workplace outbreaks and put vulnerable patients and their co-workers at grave risk.

The CDPH guidance is not binding on hospital employers who are allowed to maintain stricter precautions such as a requirement for a negative test before a COVID-positive or exposed healthcare worker returns to work.

SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is a healthcare justice union of more than 100,000 healthcare workers, patients, and healthcare activists united to ensure affordable, accessible, high-quality care for all Californians, provided by valued and respected healthcare workers. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.

SEIU release

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