HEALTH workers who have been deemed closed contacts, but are not showing Covid-19 symptoms have been called back to work.
Anne O’Connor, the HSE’s Chief Operations Officer, has confined that asymptomatic close contacts were being monitored while at work.
The decision was taken in light of the vast number of healthcare workers who are off and as the acute hospital system continues to feel the strain.
With 7,000 HSE staff out of work at present, the system is under severe pressure.
This morning, it was confirmed that there are over 100 patients receiving Covid-19 treatment in Letterkenny University Hospital for example.
On Sunday evening, extra staff were drafted in to LUH to help cope with a surge of patients presenting.
Close contacts of positive cases would usually be out of work for 14 days, but Ms O’Connor said ‘that is not available to us in that instance’.
She said: “Clearly that is something we would use as a last resort… it has been used. Where people are close contacts of cases and asymptomatic, there is a process where they are monitored by occupational health and they can return to work. We have had to do that.
“At the weekend, we had to put a call out to staff in Letterkenny to come in as we were under so much pressure and I would see that happening in other sites.
“The reality is now that the demand is so high, and the numbers are becoming so high, that we need people at work and given the level of absenteeism, that is becoming very difficult. This is across the board in our nursing homes as well as our hospitals,”Tags: