ANA and ISNA's Position on Asymptomatic COVID-19 Positive Nurses Providing Care
The American Nurses Association has provided a statement on Asymptomatic COVID-19 Positive Nurses Providing Care.
ANA and ISNA does NOT consider the use of asymptomatic, COVID-19 positive nurses to provide care to COVID-19 patients as an ideal solution to a serious staffing shortage. COVID-19 symptoms can appear as soon as 2 days or up to 14 days following exposure despite being asymptomatic at the time of testing. The health and safety of Indiana nurses is paramount as is the health and safety of the patients they care for. We must remain vigilant with our actions to minimize COVID-19 spread to other staff and patients within health care settings.
CDC’s Crisis Capacity Strategies to Mitigate Staffing Shortages - CDC Guidance notes that the health care professional must indicate whether or not they are willing to work. If the nurse believes they are NOT well enough (or have the capacity) to provide safe patient care and/or chooses NOT to work under these circumstances, there can be NO retaliation against the nurse for making this decision.
ANA and ISNA urges the Indiana state government to explore and, if possible, implement all OTHER strategies to mitigate staffing, BEFORE choosing to deploy this particular strategy. ANA and ISNA also urges that every effort be made to return to a non-crisis standard of care as soon as possible.
Finally, ANA and ISNA urges state governments to deploy ALL public health measures to reduce the demand on the health care system. This includes mandating mask wearing in public places, maintaining physical distancing, and exercising good hand hygiene.