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article imageND nurses reject policy allowing them to remain on job with COVID

By Karen Graham     Nov 12, 2020 in Health
Bismarck - The North Dakota Nurses Association says it doesn’t support a move to allow health care workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms to remain on the job.
The North Dakota Nurses Association issued a statement on Wednesday saying the group objects to allowing nurses with the virus to continue working, noting that the choice to stay on the job while infected should belong to individual nurses rather than their employers. The group also says that all other public health measures to reduce the demand on the health care system should be implemented before the new policy, including mandating mask-wearing in public.
North Dakota's Republican Governor Doug Burgum supports the measure meant to ease stress both on hospitals, nursing homes, and medical personnel as coronavirus cases skyrocket across the state. Burgum says hospital administrators asked for this be done, and interim State Health Officer Dirk Wilke amended an order to allow it to take effect, per the Associated Press.
The medical crisis being experienced in the state is not only due to a surge in coronavirus cases that is causing a shortage of available hospital beds, but the number of non-coronavirus admissions has also increased due to patients that put off medical treatment at the start of the pandemic.
At the center of the Nurses Association complaint is the state health department order that was amended. The original order was in compliance with "crisis" guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Resisting the mask mandate
According to the AARP, NorthDakota is one of 16 states without a statewide facemask mandate. Burgum has strongly encouraged mask-wearing but has not imposed a statewide requirement. Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks, Minot, and other cities adopted local mandates in October as the state saw a steep rise in COVID-19 cases.
However, the Turtle Mountain and Standing Rock reservations, representing North Dakota's two largest tribal groups, have mask orders.
North Dakota's health department reported 1,039 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. All but six of the state's 53 counties reported at least one new case. According to Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Research Center, the state has reported a total of 57,373 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 686 deaths. The state has a positivity rate of 6.25 percent.
More about Covid19, North dakota, infected nurses, remain on job, mask mandates
 
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