Mason Health Adopts Plan To Address COVID-19 Surge

Submitted by Mason Health

Mason Health announced today it was implementing guidelines developed by the Center for Disease Control, and recognized by the Washington Department of Health, to help mitigate pandemic-related health care worker shortages.

The guidelines for “Contingency Capacity Staffing,” allow health care workers that have tested positive for COVID, or had a “high-risk exposure,” to return to work sooner than under standard guidance if certain requirements are met to protect patients and health care workers. The guidelines also recommend public notification when a facility implements such a special capacity staffing plan.

Contingency Capacity Staffing allows for the following:

A team member with a positive COVID test result may voluntarily to return to work early after 5 days of isolation instead of the traditional 10 days of isolation if:

  • The individuals are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms, and fever free for 24 hours without a fever-reducing medication
  • Wearing an N95 mask for the remainder of their 10-day isolation period.  This will be for source control and does not require a fit-test.

An asymptomatic team member with a high-risk exposure, defined as being exposed to someone with COVID for more than 15 minutes, without a mask, and within six feet, may return to work if:

  • They have received a vaccine booster
  • Are fully vaccinated, but not boosted, and test negative on day 2 and day 5, post exposure

The District’s leadership, with support of its Employee Health and Infection Prevention Department, will assess the staffing situation daily and adjust as needed. The return to work early of staff allowed under this plan is voluntary and is not mandatory.

According to the District, implementing the Contingency Capacity Plan achieves a fair balance in keeping its services available to the community, while keeping staffing appropriate to support the health and safety of patients and the Mason Health team.   Implementing alternative staffing plans is being done at number of hospitals in Washington according to the Washington State Department of Health.

About Mason Health

Mason Health, Public Hospital District No. 1 of Mason County, is certified by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and is a licensed and accredited acute care hospital with a level four emergency trauma designation. There are more than 100 physicians on staff in 19 specialties. For more information or to find a health care provider, visit the Mason Health website.

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