Empowering Nurses at the Bedside and in Business

North Dakota Allows Covid Positive Nurses To Work

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state law, health care workers who test positive for COVID-19 yet remain asymptomatic are allowed to work on a COVID-19 unit as the governor just announced in North Dakota.

This is both somewhat shocking and scary because it is hard enough for nurses to work with COVID-19 positive patients but yet, working with positive co-workers?

Nurses are stressed to the max by facing COVID-19 on a daily basis and having to do more with less in fighting this disease.  Many are at their breaking point.  Some are so frightened that they even hesitate going to the break room to grab a bite to eat because they may be infected by a co-worker.

There have been reports such as nurses seen crying, even in their cars as many fear to go home because of the possibility of infecting their own family members.  Now, if a COVID-19 positive nurse is allowed to come to work, it burdens the others with an additional set of fears and concerns like sitting in the break room or having a bite to eat.

Nurses are the first to tell others to wear masks, keep socially distant and stay at home once they come into contact with a COVID-19 positive person.  And here we have nurses being asked to still go to work?  This makes no sense.

Does your facility allow nurses to work even if they are found to be COVID-19 positive?  Let me know your experiences and thoughts below.



  1. Vicki Tate

    This is outrageous, but not a surprise. The nursing field has always been notoriously short staffed. I’ve been screaming this for years. This is why I have chosen to stay retired for now. I never felt like management had my back and this is a prime example!!


    So this is how this state and nation “cares about” the always voted most trusted profession?
    It is a disgrace of the highest (or lowest) order. My heart breaks for them, to find themselves in this position at this time. Many likely need to work to support their families especially if single women, mothers or if their partner is currently unemployed.
    Really, there are no words to describe my deep hurt and sadness for each and every one of them.
    People who won’t mask and distance et al need to walk just one minute in these nurses shoes. However, if they have been unwilling to do so by now, then they surely wouldn’t have the decency nor fortitude to do so. I pray for all of them for different reasons……..compassion and forgiveness.

  3. Lisette Alicea

    This is obsurd! I hope OSHA, all nursing associations, unions and nurse attorneys stand up to protect us!! I bet there is going to be a huge nursing exodus.

  4. Denise Rowe

    Her in Indiana, once a nurse tests positive, they are assigned to the COVID unit. When symptoms are too bad to let you function , they allow 10 days off from date of positive test. At that point you must return to work or it is a voluntary resignation and not eligible for unemployment. It is not covered by workmanship comp. We are told not to go to our physician because the don’t want it known we are sick. They refuse to give a copy of t he positive result for teatment. Unemployment has been denied and they are refusing to allow use of PTO because the time off is not requested 30 days in advance. I was so such I couldn’t function. A co-worker did a rapid test for me that was poaitive. I refuse the DON instruction to move to the covid unit and was suspended!!!! I have lost 25% of my vision in one eye and have an irregular heart rate now. No chance of disability either. I am searching for another job.

  5. Linda Scheetz

    Playing “devil’s advocate”: If a nurse tests positive but is asymptomatic, what should they do? Go home and worry? They have potentially brought it home already. Who better to know how the patients feel? By working in the unit, they are possibly preventing someone else from contracting the virus and they are earning a salary that may help their families. That being said, nurses working in the Covid units across America should receive additional hazard pay, have the correct PPDs while at work to prevent further contact, and a breakroom for the unit to allow the same rest and food services the entire hospital has for those not testing positive. Keeping busy, receiving a paycheck with hazard pay, may help the Nurse stay more positive than staying home and worrying. “Just playing devil’s advocate. Very sorry for those who are positive and asymptomatic.”

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