Washington County Memorial Hospital in Potosi is taking precautions after a physician working there was exposed to the coronavirus (COVID-19) at another hospital in Ohio.
On Wednesday afternoon a physician at Washington County Memorial Hospital removed herself from patient care after she was notified by a hospital in Ohio that a patient she had cared for there on March 6 had tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Immediately after being notified, she shared the information with administrators at Washington County Memorial. The doctor serves as a hospitalist, seeing patients on behalf of their primary care physicians.
“At that time, we called the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services hotline for guidance,” said Chief Nursing Officer Jenifer Ferguson. “DHSS said the hospitalist is at medium risk for exposure and recommended a 14-day quarantine and self-monitoring of symptoms.
“The state health department indicated that all patients and staff who were in contact with the hospitalist are at low risk because the doctor had not displayed any symptoms,” Ferguson added. “The state advised that no additional quarantine would be necessary for staff or patients.”
Ferguson explained that the hospital has arranged for substitute hospitalist coverage, and they are taking every precaution advised by DHSS.
Hospital staff and patients have been notified that they are at low risk of exposure and all patient care areas have been thoroughly cleaned.
Hospitalists at Washington County Memorial are provided by a physician staffing agency. The hospitalist, who removed herself from patient care Wednesday, had just started her shift at noon on Wednesday at Washington County Memorial after having been assigned to the hospital in Ohio where that patient had tested positive for COVID-19.
The DHSS has activated a statewide public hotline for citizens or providers needing guidance regarding COVID-19. The hotline is being operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The hotline number is 877-435-8411.
Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com
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