Daily Testing for Unvaccinated Staff

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I am being told I need to test the staff who don't provide proof of vaccination daily.  This to me is ridiculous.  It's clearly a punitive measure since, due to unions, the district cannot fire anyone who is unvaccinated.  Regardless of whether I have the time for this (I don't. although I will admit they are trying to make it as easy as possible for me, and I do provide testing every day already) I hate the idea as it's basically weaponizing medical care (turning it into a punishment to make these employees lives uncomfortable). I voiced my frustrations but was met with platitudes. 

Has anyone else been asked to do this?  Thoughts?

amoLucia

Specializes in retired LTC.

Question - who's footing the cost for all this testing?

It's all pooled testing, it's available at no cost to schools in MA.  The phrase I found was "Following a competitive procurement process, EOHHS and DESE are making diagnostic and routine (weekly) COVID pooled testing services available at no cost to participating districts"

lifelearningrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 7 years experience.

I think every time I had a teacher on the daily testing  sends me every little sneeze, I'll have to reeducate on the benefits of vaccine. 'If you're vaccinated, sneezing kids won't freak you out as bad. Something to think about!'  Sneezing kid with no other symptoms (other than clear drainage) gets send back to class. 

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

On 10/15/2021 at 2:34 PM, arlingtonnurse said:

It's all pooled testing, it's available at no cost to schools in MA.  The phrase I found was "Following a competitive procurement process, EOHHS and DESE are making diagnostic and routine (weekly) COVID pooled testing services available at no cost to participating districts"

Daily testing is obviously an abuse of the stated purpose of the covered pooled testing. Who is making this decision and at what level are they? An anonymous tip to the AG's office might be in order.

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

jeeze - even the officers who didn't vaccinate in the correctional setting where my hubs works don't have to test daily.  I agree - this sounds very punitive.  Do your state DOH recommendations call for testing that frequently? 

MHDNURSE

Specializes in Pediatrics, Community Health, School Health. Has 25 years experience.

We are in MA and in our district, unvaxed staff are required to test twice weekly.  It is not happening.  There are a few who always seem to find a way to not be around when the testers show up.  And so far, no consequences for them.  So now we have a bunch of staff who ran out and got vaxed because they did not want to deal with twice per week testing, and they are seeing their unvaxed coworkers not getting tested and not having consequences...they are upset and now going to the union.  I honestly wish they had just mandated it for all staff unless you have a valid medical clearance to not get it- this choice of opting out and testing is not working.  And we have seen clusters now with unvaxed teacher's classrooms...

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

6 hours ago, MHDNURSE said:

We are in MA and in our district, unvaxed staff are required to test twice weekly.  It is not happening.  There are a few who always seem to find a way to not be around when the testers show up.  And so far, no consequences for them.  So now we have a bunch of staff who ran out and got vaxed because they did not want to deal with twice per week testing, and they are seeing their unvaxed coworkers not getting tested and not having consequences...they are upset and now going to the union.  I honestly wish they had just mandated it for all staff unless you have a valid medical clearance to not get it- this choice of opting out and testing is not working.  And we have seen clusters now with unvaxed teacher's classrooms...

Simple. No test? Suspend without pay. Why is the management dithering on the issue?

JenTheSchoolRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in School nursing.

Daily?? Yikes! Ours have to test weekly if unvaccinated. Miss the test and they have to get tested outside of work and produce a negative result by the following Monday morning or take PTO until they do so.

(We also offer recommended weekly testing for vaccinated staff - not required. But like 98% of vaccinated staff still choose to get tested weekly. This is all pooled testing. I am also in MA.)

I do manage this - but I just report who didn't show up to testing to my bigger bosses to email those folks directly.

MHDNURSE

Specializes in Pediatrics, Community Health, School Health. Has 25 years experience.

18 hours ago, Jedrnurse said:

Simple. No test? Suspend without pay. Why is the management dithering on the issue?

Wouldn't that be nice?  Seriously do not get me started on this one.  I am hugely annoyed by empty threats and that is all I have seen since August.

As it's turned out nearly nobody has showed up for the mandatory daily testing.  It's made my life easier since chasing them around is not my problem (they are supposed to log into a computer I keep at the testing station to attest they came so HR is alerted without me even telling them).

And, of course, as above we also have testing available weekly for all staff. Even though it's voluntary they nearly all take part.  So yes, we have this frustrating situation where the vaccinated crew is tested regularly and the others... not so much.

I am SO OVER COVID!

 

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

So, in summary, management came up with a crazy (maybe illegal) system, I.e. test unvaccinated people daily, and then does nothing when these people blow off ALL testing.

Their management acumen is breathtaking...