Eleanor Slater Hospital lets “close contacts” work during Covid outbreak – Health News Today

CRANSTON — Faced with potential staff shortages, the state hospital has allowed “close contacts” of Covid-infected patients and staff to continue working.

In an exchange of emails late last week, a spokesman for the state-run Eleanor Slater Hospital acknowledged to The Journal that exposed workers were still on the job while awaiting their own test results. 

He also acknowledged the case count in this latest outbreak had grown. 

As of last Thursday, spokesman Randal Edgar said, there were 12 patients and 32 staff who were “positive and in quarantine.”

As of Tuesday, Edgar said, there were 14 COVID-positive patients, including “one who is in acute care in another hospital,’ and 35 infected staffers.

Asked if exposed staff were allowed to work while awaiting their own test results, he said the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) policy allows them to do so.

“Per RIDOH, health-care workers are considered critical infrastructure workers. They can work after being a close contact, provided that they take certain measures: