A physician in Providence, Rhode Island faces thousands of dollars in fines from the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for exposing patients and staff to COVID-19 while he was ill and failing to take necessary pandemic precautions in his offices. His license to practice medicine was also temporarily suspended earlier this year.
Staff reported that the physician continued to work and see patients — while wearing an N95 mask below his nose — after knowingly contracting the coronavirus. The doctor has denied the allegations and said he did not contract the virus until weeks later, and that he had a sinus infection during the time in question.
Meanwhile, 1 in 4 hospital workers nationwide who have direct contact with patients had not yet received a single dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of May, according to a WebMD and Medscape Medical News analysis of data collected by the US Department of Health and Human Services from 2500 hospitals across the US. The significant number of unvaccinated healthcare workers raises concerns that they may transmit SARS-CoV-2 to vulnerable patients.
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