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North Dakota allows Covid-positive healthcare workers to stay on job as nurses warn it's 'irresponsible'

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Whatever your stress level is over Covid-19, it pales in comparison to those on the front lines. Going on 8 plus months for the Wife seeing Covid positive patients everyday.






As hospitals in the state reach capacity and face dire staff shortages, North Dakota's governor announced the state will allow healthcare workers who have tested positive for Covid-19 to continue working in coronavirus units, officials announced this week.

The order applies only to those who have asymptomatic cases, and the Covid-positive nurses will only be allowed to treat other Covid-19 patients. Still, some nurses worry that the practice might not be safe, and some health administrators in North Dakota are warning of burnout among hospital staff.


"I think it's irresponsible,” Sarah Lothspeich, an ER nurse in Fargo, told NBC News.

"We have to think about the patients that don't have Covid, the staff that don't have Covid. The amount of times I've thought about this whenever somebody leaves my facility with Covid: ‘How many doorknobs have they touched to leave? Who's cleaning them? Who’s sterilizing the room?’ We are, but things could be missed," Lothspeich said. "That might sound a little crazy to think about doorknobs, but I just think about the risk of exposure, somebody that has Covid-19, to somebody that does not. I think that risk is just too great to know the benefit isn't good enough."

Hospital administrators have asked for the extraordinary action to be taken, Gov. Doug Burgum said at a Monday press conference, and interim State Health Officer Dirk Wilke amended an order to allow the new measure to take effect.

The move comes as the state struggles to alleviate a healthcare system overwhelmed by the coronavirus, with record positive cases pushing hospitals to operate at 100% capacity.

“Our hospitals are under enormous pressure now,” Burgum said. “In the last few days, our hospitalizations due to Covid [rose] by another 10 percent. That’s 60 percent higher than just four weeks ago.”

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3 minutes ago, impartialobserver said:

Well its not like there is some pool of available nurses just hanging out in ND. LImited personnel and very high demand translates to having to cut corners. 

It's happening in more places than you think but understandably not being advertised.

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1 minute ago, JoeAverage said:

It's happening in more places than you think but understandably not being advertised.

We have similar issues in Northern Nevada. Have had a long standing shortage of health care professionals. Location Quotient of .62 to .65. In plain English, we employ 62% to 65% of what other similarly populated areas nationally do. 

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