Some infected Quebec healthcare workers may continue to work

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Quebec, which battles the highest infection levels in Canada, announced on Tuesday that health care workers in the province who tested positive for the coronavirus will continue to work under certain circumstances.

All essential workers in the province, including those working in medicine, will be subject to the new rules, said Christian Dubé, Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services, during a press briefing. He said workers who test positive will continue to work “according to a list of priorities and risk management.” He did not provide details but said more information would be released in the coming days.

In previous waves, Dubé said, the goal had been “to identify and remove at-risk employees as quickly as possible.” But given the highly contagious nature of the Omicron variant and the number of people infected and forced to withdraw from work, he said, “we have to do it differently. We have no choice. “

The average number of new cases per day in Quebec has increased by 376% in the past two weeks, and the seven-day average of daily new cases in the province is over 8,000, according to data compiled by the University. Johns Hopkins. This number represents more than half of new cases in Canada every day, on average.

Pressure on healthcare workers around the world has increased since the start of the pandemic, and experts have warned they are approaching a tipping point. In October, the World Health Organization estimated that more than 100,000 health workers had died from Covid and urged countries to do more to protect them.

In the United States, some states have called in the National Guard this month to help manage hospitals and nursing homes that have been hit hard by staff shortages and illness among their employees.