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Monitoring approaches for health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Bielicki JA, Duval X, Gobat N, Goossens H, Koopmans M, Tacconelli E, van der Werf S

Health-care workers are crucial to any health-care system. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, health-care workers are at a substantially increased risk of becoming infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and could come to considerable harm as a result. Depending on the phase of the pandemic, patients with COVID-19 might not be the main source of SARS-CoV-2 infection and health-care workers could be exposed to atypical patients, infected family members, contacts, and colleagues, or live in communities of active transmission. Clear strategies to support and appropriately manage exposed and infected health-care workers are essential to ensure effective staff management and to engender trust in the workplace. These management strategies should focus on risk stratification, suitable clinical monitoring, low-threshold access to diagnostics, and decision making about removal from and return to work. Policy makers need to support health-care facilities in interpreting guidance during a pandemic that will probably be characterised by fluctuating local incidence of SARS-CoV-2 to mitigate the impact of this pandemic on their workforce.

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