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Our Opinion: Got COVID-19? Stay home

by Gerry Tritz | January 14, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

We recently published a story about a conundrum with the omicron variant: Do you stay home or work sick?

To us, it's not much of a dilemma: stay home.

The highly contagious omicron variant is quickly spreading across the world. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recently changed its guidelines around isolation and quarantine. The Biden administration is ordering an additional 500 million COVID-19 tests to meet demand.

Locally, schools are struggling to stay staffed and open. Helias Catholic High School is reinstituting its masking requirement.

Blame who you'd like, but our battle with COVID-19 isn't going as we hoped it would at this point. But there is a big positive amidst the negativity: COVID-19 deaths are drastically down.

Still, it's important to limit the spread as much as possible. If you're sick, stay home and, if possible, stay home period.

Many of us have more sick days than we'll likely ever need. And since the pandemic, many employers have instituted a more robust sick leave policy.

Plus, many workers have the capability of working at home. Many COVID-19 cases are mild enough you could do so -- no sick day needed.

Still, a Harvard's Shift Policy survey found 65 percent of low-wage workers reported going to work sick in just the past month. This goes against the CDC recommendation to stay at home if you have COVID-19, except to get medical care.

If you don't have sick leave and you can't work at home, discuss the situation with your employer. Perhaps there's a solution in which you won't lose pay for staying home.

A sick employee can spread germs to about 60 percent of commonly touched surfaces at work within a few hours, research shows. This increases the likelihood of the virus spreading. It can also be transmitted when a sick employee coughs, sneezes or even talks.

It only takes one person to start an outbreak.

Staying at home from work when you're sick with COVID-19 can and will limit the spread and protect those who are particularly vulnerable. It's the right thing to do.

News Tribune

Print Headline: Our Opinion: Got COVID-19? Stay home

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