COVID positive nurse to return to work
An intensive care nurse says he's due back at work on Friday, just over two weeks after he contracted COVID-19.
Daniel Collins, an intensive care unit nurse from the Royal Melbourne Hospital tested positive for COVID-19 on August 6. Mr Collins, who has been staying in hotel isolation since being diagnosed with coronavirus, said just days ago he was struggling to catch his breath and had been feeling "quite unwell".
He told ABC Radio Melbourne he'd been resting but was scheduled to return to work on August 21 - even if he continues to test positive.
Mr Collins, 24, said he initially had mild symptoms, and began to lose his sense of taste and smell. He said around day eight he became "quite unwell".
"I was walking to the door and my heart rate was getting up to 140, and I was needing a few minutes just to regain my breath - which is really unusual for me."
He said he'd also been measuring his oxygen saturation, which had dropped to "worrying" levels.
The registered nurse said he doesn't need to return to a negative test before returning to work.
"Once it gets to day 10 of having COVID, you need to be symptom-free for three days and then you can get cleared of COVID."
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He said this means you still have the virus and can test positive, but you wouldn't be infectious. Mr Collins said the hospital had been flexible and offered him time off between his shifts to continue to recover.
"If I don't feel like I'm up to it they're happy to push it back."
The ICU nurse went viral earlier this month when he was first diagnosed with COVID-19, sharing his experience in a Facebook video. As cases spiked around Victoria he said he'd been heavily involved in the frontline response.
"Every day I went to work there was this air of nervousness among me and my colleagues as we wondered if we were going to get the virus, and potentially expose our friends and family to it," Mr Collins said.
Mr Collins said he felt his condition had improved in recent days but he was still suffering from fatigue.
Victoria reported 222 new cases of coronavirus today and 17 deaths. The last time the state reported a daily number of new cases that low was in mid July.
Originally published as COVID positive Vic nurse to return to work