Swiss nurses with Covid-19 urged to keep working

The pandemic is putting extra pressure on staff at nursing homes. (archive photo) Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

Across Switzerland, care home staff are reporting for work even if they themselves are suffering from the coronavirus.

This content was published on December 6, 2020
SonntagsZeitung, Keystone-SDA, sm

According to the SonntagsZeitung Sunday newspaper, the management at a care home in canton Bern has asked several ill nurses – who tested positive for Covid-19 – to come to work anyway. It was not an isolated case of staff not isolating themselves. The canton of Fribourg has also approved the use of sick staff, wrote the newspaper.

“We have corresponding reports from various cantons,” confirmed Yvonne Ribi of the Swiss Association of Nursing Professionals. She told the SonntagsZeitung that she knew of institutions in several cantons where, despite a positive test result and clear symptoms, nurses were urged to work in a nursing home anyway. Ribi condemned the practice.

The national centre for infection prevention, Swissnoso, provides for exceptions in the event of a relevant shortage of health personnel. However, this applies only to acute hospitals.

“Other non-acute medical facilities, such as nursing homes, should continue to follow the recommendations issued by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH),” state the Swissnoso guidelines. The FOPH insists on strict isolation for ill people.

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