I’ve been talking to top hospital employees and management personnel across the country, from MA to CA, about how hospitals are handling notifications of infected employees and testing those who have been in close contact to co-workers. It isn’t pretty.
1. Why are hospitals allowed to self report the numbers of COVID cases among those hospitalized and among staff? Whenever the number of cases is reported by a city or state, they add this disclaimer – “Data Sources: COVID-19 Data provided by the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences, the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics, and MDPH survey of hospitals (hospital survey data are self-reported). This system throws off Contact Tracing data – you know the thing that’s going to help reopen the state.I have found only a few people who tested positive and were asked about those they had been in close contact with but many who were not so no phone calls we are supposed to pick up from Contact Tracing.
2. Why are most hospitals not informing or testing employees who have been in close contact with a co-worker who tested positive? These coworkers are finding out from the ones infected who, on their own, have contacted them and then subsequently getIng tested at drive-thru testing site because employee health will not test them.
3. Why, when asked, does the upper management at hospitals say “it’s not in the hospital’s best interest to test employees who are showing no symptoms but have been closely working with others who are and later tested positive?” What does that even mean – in the hospital’s best interest – how? Haven’t they heard of those testing positive that are asymptomatic?
4. Why do most hospitals say their employees had to have been infected away from the hospital when its highly likely that some have gotten it at work? In some instances, an employee was infected outside of the hospital setting but did not know because of remaining asymtomatic so continued to work and infected at least one other who only went from home to work.
Because of the above, hospital employees are going to work without the information needed to keep themselves and others safe. Wearing masks and gloves is not perfect, complete protection.