Politico: State’s NUHW-backed Covid testing mandate draws hospital industry’s ire

December 1st, 2020

NUHW members have won our fight for comprehensive COVID-19 testing requirements covering acute care hospitals.

Politico published a story about the California Department of Public Health’s first-in-the-nation regulations mandating weekly COVID-19 testing for acute care hospital workers — and the hospital industry’s resistance to the new requirements.

Carmela Coyle, executive director of the California Hospital Association, told POLITICO the group’s primary concern is about timing. She argues that testing supplies are still scarce — a problem she attributes to the test manufacturers, not the hospitals — and this new guidance kicks in just as California is “on the precipice of what may be the greatest surge we have experienced to date.”

Sal Rosselli, president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers, accused the hospital operators of putting cost concerns over the safety of their workforce.

Rosselli, who has been pushing for the guidance for weeks, said skilled nursing facilities have abided by similar testing guidance and that the new rules have resulted in a dramatic decrease in coronavirus infection rates and deaths. “Why are these hospitals pushing back against testing their employees who are coming in contact with patients every day?” he said in an interview.

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