To the Editor: The Health + Hospitals facilities are "hotbeds" for COVID-19, and that makes the employees I represent prime candidates for infection, as well as potential carriers of the coronavirus to patients, other employees, the community and their families. In recognition of this, on March 4 H+H approved paid leave to exposed workers to allow for isolation and quarantine for up to 14 days.
Then on March 16, H+H introduced a Telecommuting Policy for employees in its effort to mitigate the transmission and effects of COVID-19. But two days later, the H+H Paid Leave and Telecommuting policies were denied to many employees on the grounds that "New DOH and CDC guidelines recommend that employees who have been exposed to COVID-19 and are non-symptomatic should wear masks and come to work. We are aware of the H+H telecommuting policy but we are forgoing this policy until we know how staff can help around the hospital."