Bristol Health has just identified a Bristol Health employee who has tested positive for COVID-19. They are not releasing the employee’s information, but the employee is not a Bristol resident.
“This employee has been notified, as well as all co-workers and patients that this person might have been in contact with,” said Christopher Boyle, Bristol Health Director of Public Relations. “We have been working closely with the Bristol-Burlington Health Department to ensure we are following all CDC recommendations in terms of exposure. This employee is now at home on self-quarantine. As a reminder, handwashing, respiratory etiquette and social distancing are the best methods to decrease transmission.”
The employee was in contact with a low number of patients, and was tested earlier in the week. The person did not return to work, and has been on a 14-day quarantine. Officials said that the infected person is in good condition.
Since the virus has impacted the hospital, they will be implementing a mandatory employee surveillance process/screening starting at 5:15 a.m. on Saturday, March 21. The screenings will take place at all employee entrances and points of entry (employee entrance adjacent to cardiac rehab, the main lobby, emergency center, center for surgery and endoscopy, monday through friday only, and the medical care center, and all off-sites of the Bristol Health Medical Group, also Monday through Friday only.)
Boyle said the turnaround time for testing is quicker for medical employees.
“It is vital that all Bristol Health employees use one of these entrances when arriving for work,” said Boyle. The process will include a temperature check, screening for symptoms such as a fever of 99.5 or above, shortness of breath, cough, or exposure to COVID-19.
Boyle said the hospital has collected more than 300 specimen at their outdoor collection site since last week, with 98 patients seen on Monday, around 40 on Wednesday, and 83 today. He also said that the public has been very cooperative with complying with the hospital’s strict visitor restrictions at this time.
“People have been very considerate, and cooperative. We’re grateful for that,” said Boyle. He also credits the Bristol-Burlington Health District. “We’ve received a lot of support from Marco Palmeri,” he said. “Its been wonderful, the support of the health district.”
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