An emergency room physician says letting health-care staff who've tested positive for COVID-19 work as a last resort is the "right call."
Dr. Trevor Jain said the new Health P.E.I. policy will prevent high absenteeism rates among staff related to COVID-19, which has been seen in other jurisdictions.
"I don't think any health-care provider should work sick during the COVID-19 environment," he said.
"But for myself, if I was asymptomatic and I'm triple-vaxxed and I tested positive for COVID, and I was asked by my health-care authority to go in and be properly protected to prevent me from transmitting COVID for other folks, then I will do so."
Jain said hospitals across the Island have been busy throughout the last weeks of 2021. Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases across the Island continue to grow exponentially.
He said it's "really hard" to predict how many hospitalizations could be caused by COVID-19 in the coming days, as hospitalization rates vary wildly across the globe. He said he's certain cases will continue to rise.
Jain said sharing the vaccination status of people who are hospitalized could help frame people's decision on whether to get the shot. But warned some people who are against vaccines may draw the wrong conclusions as well.
"Those people that are against vaccinations, they find out that somebody is vaccinated and in the intensive care unit, they may make a whole set of assumptions by saying, 'See? you're vaccinated and still ended up in the ICU,'" Jain said.
"We know that statistically, that that's not the case for a population-based approach. You're 60 per cent less likely to end up in an intensive care unit when you're vaccinated."