The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just issued new guidelines that have altered previously instated protocols for hospital employees, specifically regarding how and when doctors and nurses are allowed back to work after they've tested positive for COVID-19.

As per new guidelines from the CDC, healthcare workers are now allowed to be present at work while experiencing minor cold-like symptoms. In addition, should a healthcare employee test positive for COVID-19, they are allowed to return to work once they are free of a fever after a five-day isolation period.

As the pandemic continues to affect the whole world, the effect it has specifically had on healthcare systems and their employees alike is both devastating and alarming.

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“Staffing has been our greatest challenge for quite some time,” Cara Welch, a member of the Colorado Hospital Association told KDVR.

And now, with the increased presence of the new highly contagious COVID variant, Omicron across the state, the need for more flexibility among staff is more necessary now than ever.

According to KDVR, many hospitals across the state have successfully shifted to and are now abiding by the CDC's new contingency staffing protocols. Networks including UCHealth, HealthONE, Centura, and Denver Health all have return-to-work policies that comply with the CDC's guidance.

The CDC says that should staffing become critically low in a hospital, that hospital and its workers are essentially allowed to bypass protocol - meaning: drop all work restrictions. This would be considered "crisis mode", a last-resort option for hospitals and employees.

The good news is that Colorado hospitals are reportedly not at such a dire level. 

Especially during the time of a pandemic, it is constantly stressed that if you are feeling sick, do not go to work - Omicron is changing that approach.

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