Coronavirus In Pennsylvania: Guidelines For Healthcare Workers To Return To Work After Positive Test

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health issued interim guidelines about returning to work for healthcare providers who are infected with the coronavirus.

Hospitals have procedures for employees who think they have it.

“If they have all of the symptoms, and we can get them tested, and that’s, of course, a big if at this point in time. If we can get them tested, we would recommend testing,” says St. Clair Hospital’s Dr. Alan Yeastead.

“Most tests are being done at LabCorp now for healthcare providers. We absolutely need more testing,” says Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health.

With or without a test, the Pennsylvania Department of Health says healthcare workers can be released from isolation seven days after their symptoms started, as long as they have been without symptoms for three days.

“We need all of our healthcare personnel to be healthy and to be on the front lines,” Dr. Levine says.

“If you were a healthcare worker, they can still work. That’s the difference between the general population and healthcare workers,” says Dr. Yeastead.

“Some of the CDC discussions, if things are going to get very very bad, you can come back to work even sooner with a mask,” says Dr. Mohamed Yassin, infection control at UPMC Mercy.

Household contacts must stay quarantined for 14 days after the healthcare worker is released from isolation.

“It’s a little bit harsh on the family, but in reality, it’s part of the social distancing,” says Dr. Yassin says.

When they return to work, healthcare providers must wear a face mask at all times, and will not take care of any immunocompromised patients.