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On the one hand, it makes sense that employers and school systems want to ensure that people who have been out due to COVID-19 are in the clear before they report back for work or classes. On the other hand, the fact that they’re requiring a clearance note from a physician before allowing them back in the door is proving to be a logistical nightmare for many practices. Multiple health systems and county health departments are reporting that the volume of requests to provide the proverbial (or in this case, not so proverbial) “doctor’s note” is becoming problematic. As reported by WICS and WRSP TV in Illinois, people are even showing up in the emergency room for that purpose. The story also notes that around 200 people are inundating Memorial Health’s urgent care centers for return-to-work and -school notes every day. County health officials in the vicinity are pleading with employers and school administrators to drop the practice of requiring a “clearance” letter. In addition to clogging the health system, there’s always the risk that testing supplies could grow scarce as the pandemic stretches on.

That ‘Bring a Note from Your Doctor’ Routine Is Proving to Be Problematic for Many Practices