Coronavirus in Belgium: contaminated healthcare staff may exceptionally work in Covid services

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The Sciensano public health institute had already authorized this exception at the end of 2020. While hospitals again risk facing a significant staff shortage, this exception is once again relevant.

The director of UZ Brussel Marc Noppen suggested this possibility on Tuesday evening on the VRT. In this context, he also referred to the high vaccine coverage among UZ staff and the fact that the omicron variant appears to be less severe at the moment. In the newspapers De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad, Dominique Benoit, head of intensive care at UZ Gent, also indicates that the hospital will deploy infected staff in a few weeks, “due to a case of force majeure”.

However, if the caregivers are found to have a high viral load, test positive on a rapid antigen test, or feel stressed or uncomfortable, they will need to stay home.

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The general rule for nursing staff remains unchanged with seven days in isolation and three days of precaution.

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