CVPH employee hospitalized with COVID-19

Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 10:43 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 24, 2020 at 6:55 AM EDT
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - An employee at the Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh has been admitted to the hospital for COVID-19.

Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital officials say that the employee was a “caregiver” who worked face-to-face with patients, but they would not give out other specifics like what department they work in. They are reported in fair condition.

“I am not going to do anything that’s going to help people identify who this person might be,” said Dr. Wouter Reitsema, an infectious disease specialist at the hospital.

Reitsema says the employee didn’t show any telltale signs of COVID-19, which led them to work for up to four days while infected and that roughly 20 patients came in contact with the employee. “If you were a CVPH patient and no one has reached out to you, you are not considered exposed,” Reitsema said.

Masks are required at the hospital so the employee was wearing a mask while in contact with the patients. The hospital is still working to ID any other staff that could have been exposed. They expect to complete that within 24-hours.

Reitsema says this has the potential to impact staffing levels at the hospital, but that the state has protocols that allow exposed essential workers to work if they are needed. “Health care workers are considered essential workers and New York state procedures do allow for letting asymptomatic exposed persons work,” he said.

The hospital says this shouldn’t cause any major outbreaks but also said it is not currently contained. They are providing testing for those individuals that came in contact.

Copyright 2020 WCAX. All rights reserved.

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