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Sat Apr 18, 2020, 06:30 AM

VA Instructs Coronavirus-Exposed Staff to Continue Working, Places Those Who Don't in AWOL Status

Employees at the Veterans Affairs Department are feeling pressured to return to work even after they've been exposed to the novel coronavirus—a new VA policy requires them to continue showing up, and threatens discipline along with the possibility of losing pay for those who stay home.

The situation is creating a stressful environment in which VA workers worry their colleagues may be hiding symptoms while they have insufficient equipment to protect themselves and others from spreading the virus. Government Executive spoke to employees at more than a half-dozen facilities, all of whom said management was providing inconsistent guidance and creating unsafe working conditions.

To date, more than 5,000 patients and 1,600 staff at VA facilities have tested positive for COVID-19; more than 300 patients and more than a dozen staff have died from the disease. Until recently at some facilities, staff told Government Executive, some administrative staff were not even allowed to wear masks, either because there weren't enough to go around and they were being reserved for medical personnel with more sustained patient contact, or because supervisors were worried about alarming patients and visitors.

At some facilities, VA officials have instituted policies under which employees who worked with COVID-19 positive patients before their status was known—and therefore were not wearing the proper equipment—should continue to work until they develop symptoms, after which they could be tested for the virus. In some cases, those employees included nurses and doctors who subsequently tested positive for the virus but returned after seven days when their symptoms were no longer evident, employees said. One memorandum sent by a top official at a medical center in Indianapolis said VA facilities should consider enabling employees “who have had an exposure to a COVID-19 patient to continue to work after options to improve staffing have been exhausted.”


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Reply VA Instructs Coronavirus-Exposed Staff to Continue Working, Places Those Who Don't in AWOL Status (Original post)
douglas9 Apr 2020 OP
duforsure Apr 2020 #1

Response to douglas9 (Original post)

Sat Apr 18, 2020, 06:42 AM

1. Shows how little trump and the gop cares about our former service people, our veterans,

Opposite of their lies claiming they care. trump pushing these people to go back knowing this virus is still actively attacking is reckless, irresponsible and should be criminal. Giving millionaires billions again while stiffing small businesses and direct payments to the American people is backfiring on them. Any new outbreaks will be covered up , denied , and ignored by these Governors , trump and the gop. Service people see this too. They've ignored nursing homes to.

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