Staff with Covid can still work in some departments. / sur

Hospital staff with Covid in Spain can now work in ‘non-vulnerable’ departments until they test negative again

The Ministry of Health’s Covid Monitoring and Control Strategy, which has just been updated, also says health care staff with symptoms should take precautions but do not have to stay home until they receive the test result

SUSANA ZAMORA Madrid

According to the latest update to the Spanish government’s Covid-19 Monitoring and Control Strategy, health care professionals who test positive for coronavirus can be assigned to work in ‘non-vulnerable areas’ of a hospital or can work from home. “If neither option is possible, they should not go to work for the first five days after the onset of symptoms, or the date of diagnosis if they are asymptomatic,” the document says.

Once that time has passed, and as long as there have been no symptoms for 24 hours, they have to take an antigen test. If the result is negative, they can go back to work as usual.

“In any case, from the seventh day after the symptoms began or a positive test in the case of people who are asymptomatic, and as long as they have no symptoms or only residual ones, they can return to their normal post and use whatever risk prevention measures are deemed necessary by the workplace risk assessment service,” says the Ministry of Health.

This relocation applies to staff in health centres, social care centres, prisons and other institutions where employees support and care for vulnerable people.

The protocol for people with symptoms resembling those of Covid has also changed. Whereas before it was recommended that those with minor symptoms stay home until they receive the result of a test, they are now advised to take more precautions, reduce social interactions as much as possible, wear a mask and maintain hand hygiene until they are diagnosed.