Stephern Allison, SVP of Integration & Chief Human Resources Officer
Robert Press, MD, EVP, Medical Affairs
Friday, December 24, 2021
Thank you to everyone who is working today and throughout the holiday as we continue to meet the needs of our communities during this resurgence of the Covid virus.
As you may know, yesterday the CDC issued guidelines based on the current scientific evidence to mitigate healthcare staffing shortages nationwide, and earlier today the New York State Department of Health issued an “Advisory on Shortening Isolation Period for Certain Fully Vaccinated Healthcare Workers and Other Critical Workforce.”
Consistent with both sets of guidelines, effective immediately:
Pursuant to the DOH advisory and given the current critical staffing shortage, most employees who serve in patient-facing roles and who are isolated due to COVID infection will be allowed to return to work after day 5 of their isolation period without testing if they are asymptomatic, or, if they had mild symptoms, when they return to work they must:
- Not have a fever for at least 72 hours without fever-reducing medication
- Have resolution of symptoms or, if still with residual symptoms, then all are improving
- Not have rhinorrhea (runny nose)
- Have no more than minimal, non-productive cough (i.e., not disruptive to work and does not stop the person from wearing their mask continuously, not coughing up phlegm)
Employees who are not deemed eligible to return to work after 5 days under the above guidelines may return to work in 7 days if asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic but improving, with a negative COVID test.
As per the CDC guidelines, we may also move to “contingency” guidelines, with further shortening of quarantine times, as necessary in the future depending upon staffing constraints.
We will keep you informed should it become necessary to further revise our procedures pursuant to these guidelines.
Best wishes to all of you for a happy holiday and happy and healthy New Year, and thank you again all for your continued efforts to provide top quality care to our patients.