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More than 30 Methodist Hospital employees asked to self-quarantine for two weeks

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Posted at 11:18 AM, Mar 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-07 19:23:23-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Over thirty employees of Methodist Hospital are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days after a female tested positive for coronavirus at the facility on Friday, according to a press release from Methodist.

Methodist says all the proper protocols and procedures were followed once the individual was suspected of having coronavirus; however, Methodist is fully cooperating with the Nebraska Department of Human Services (DHHS) to identify others who were exposed before the patient was placed in isolation.

As of Saturday, Methodist identified 30+ employees who will be asked to self-quarantine for two weeks at the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and state health officials. They will be asked to monitor symptoms and give updates to the DHHS.

The patient is a 36-year-old Douglas County woman who was traveling through the United Kingdom.

She arrived at Methodist Women's Hospital emergency room with a respiratory infection that had been going on for 12 days. She's considered to be "very seriously ill."

After reviewing her symptoms, recent travel and condition, Methodist staff determined the patient would be admitted to Methodist Hospital, the press release says.

She was cared for in a negative airflow environment with proper personal protective equipment at Methodist Hospital then was transported to the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit for further care.

Methodist says they're taking increased precautions at points of entry at their hospitals and clinics. They ask that all incoming patients who have been exposed or are experiencing symptoms to wear a mask.

Visitors with any cold or flu-like symptoms are asked to avoid coming to the hospital.

Methodist agrees with national and local experts that the presence of one case in the community suggest that more could be diagnosed. They urge individuals to do the following:

  • Practice good hand hygiene, including frequent and thorough hand washing and proper use of hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your face, including your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Make sure you have all needed medications and supplies on hand, as if you were preparing for a severe snowstorm
  • If you have significant symptoms, call prior to coming into your health professionals office so they can inform you of the safest protocol to be assessed