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Phoenix (AP) — A major health provider in Arizona will allow employees who are experiencing mild symptoms of COVID-19 or are not symptomatic to continue working at its hospitals and facilities.
Because of the omicron variant’s rapid spread in Maricopa County and in anticipation of a continued increase, Dignity Health officials said they’ve enacted the “third tier” of the federal guidelines for health workers with the coronavirus.
“These guidelines allow COVID-19 positive health care personnel who are not experiencing symptoms or improving with mild symptoms to work without a quarantine time,” Dignity Health officials said in an announcement. “We are doing everything in our power to ensure that our employees can safely return to work while safeguarding our staff, patients and patients from the transmission of COVID-19.”
A memo sent to Dignity Health staff members said those suffering from coronavirus but feel well enough to work can request permission to work from their manager.
However, they must wear an N-95 mask for 10 days after they tested positive.
The omicron variant can be spread more quickly than other coronavirus strains and has already become the dominant in many countries. It also more easily infects those who have been vaccinated or who had previously been infected by previous versions of the virus.
Although studies in the beginning have demonstrated that Omicron is less likely than the delta variant to cause serious illness or hospitalization however, there are several hospitals in the state.
Arizona health officials announced that COVID-19 was responsible for another 69 deaths on Sunday.
The state also reported 15,850 additional confirmed infections.
This was in addition to Saturday’s total of 16504 cases and 88 deaths, which were the highest number of Arizona cases reported in a single day.
The state has recorded less than 1.5 million cases during the pandemic , and less than 25,000 deaths.
Johns Hopkins University data shows that Arizona’s seven-day average daily number of new cases has tripled in the last two weeks, going from 2,945.6 on December 23 to 9,091.6 Thursday.
During the same period that the state’s daily death rate fell from 60.9 to 55.3.
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