Hospital workers are appalled.
In an electronic mail despatched Wednesday, which CNN obtained from a nurse at a Sanford Health hospital, CEO and President Kelby Krabbenhoft addressed the well being system’s 50,000 workers, explaining his determination.
“I contracted the virus, felt the uncertainty that accompanied the word ‘positive’,” he wrote.
“Experienced the lagging coughs and fatigue… but I’m back in my office,” he added.
And he can be maskless.
Citing “growing evidence,” that he’s now resistant to the virus, Krabbenhoft mentioned “for me to wear a mask defies the efficacy and purpose of a mask and sends an untruthful message that I am susceptible to infection or could transmit it. I have no interest in using masks as a symbolic gesture.”
There isn’t quite a lot of proof but about whether or not having been contaminated as soon as supplies immunity to reinfection from the virus, and no proof about whether or not individuals who have recovered from one an infection can transmit the virus to others. There have been a number of circumstances documented of individuals being contaminated a second time after recovering from one bout with the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working to be taught extra about reinfection, and recommends individuals put on masks whether or not or not they’ve had Covid-19.
“It’s appalling to read this from a hospital CEO,” the Sanford Health nurse, who didn’t need be named for concern of dropping her job, tells CNN. “We are supposed to be leaders in the community. How can we be taken seriously when this is our CEO?”
Sanford Health, which incorporates 46 hospitals and 1,400 physicians, is headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the place the City Council voted this week to approve a masks mandate. It is the primary masks mandate within the state, the place Covid-19 circumstances have skyrocketed since August.
“Kelby Krabbenhoft’s email was based on his own experience with Covid-19 and his personal opinions about the virus. They do not reflect the views of our health system as a whole,” Micah Aberson, Executive Vice President of Sanford Health, mentioned in a press release to CNN.
They additionally took to social media to encourage mask-wearing Friday. “Our health care providers have called upon our communities to do their part by wearing masks and physically distancing to slow the spread of the virus. This is the best way to reduce stress on our health care system,” a publish on Sanford Health’s Facebook web page mentioned.
Masks have been a divisive concern in South Dakota, the place Governor Kristi Noem has refused to concern a masks mandate. “You may choose to wear a mask and be concerned about the virus. And if people are scared, I’m going to remind them, they should stay home,” Noem mentioned at a information convention Wednesday.
“Masks have been a symbolic issue that frankly frustrates me,” Krabbenhoft mentioned within the electronic mail. “The ‘on-again, off-again’ behavior of mask use by the general population violates every notion of serious infectious management that I was trained to adhere to, so some of this is absurd.”
Krabbenhoft wrote he is “an old scrub technician from my youth” — a part of a crew that will work in an OR — and acknowledged the significance of masks for individuals who haven’t had Covid-19.
“For people who have not contracted the virus and may acquire it and then spread it, it is important for them to know that masks are just plain smart to use and in their best interest,” he mentioned.
“When it comes to immunity the science is evolving and we must continue to follow CDC guidelines,” Sanford Health government administration mentioned in one other staff-wide electronic mail Friday, addressing Krabbenhoft’s electronic mail.
“Whether you’ve had the virus or not, it is recommended that you wear a mask when you cannot be socially distanced,” the e-mail from government administration mentioned.
In phrases of the variety of Covid-19 circumstances and hospitalization within the state, Krabbenhoft informed South Dakota’s Argus Leader Thursday that he felt it was below management. “There’s not a crisis,” he mentioned.
The Sanford Health nurse referred to as his feedback “a slap in the face.”
South Dakota has been among the many states with the very best per capita new circumstances and hospitalizations within the nation over the previous week, based on information from Johns Hopkins University.
CDC steering cites a variety of research exhibiting that masks cut back the danger of transmitting or catching the virus by greater than 70% in numerous situations. In a number of eventualities, when officers informed individuals to put on masks, infections and deaths fell considerably, the CDC identified.