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Mercy Hospital Springfield reports two employees who have been diagnosed with COVID-19
SBJ file photo
Mercy Hospital Springfield reports two employees who have been diagnosed with COVID-19

Hospitals report employees with COVID-19

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As local health care systems battle the coronavirus pandemic, some of their employees have contracted COVID-19.

Officials with Citizens Memorial Hospital, CoxHealth and Mercy Hospital Springfield each reported confirmed cases by deadline this morning. Officials with other local health care systems could not be reached for comment.

At Mercy, two employees at the Queen City hospital have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a statement provided to Springfield Business Journal by spokeswoman Sonya Kullmann.

Both employees had traveled out of the state within the last 14 days and are quarantining at their homes. The statement did not disclose the employees’ roles at Mercy Hospital Springfield.
"As COVID-19 becomes more prevalent in the community, it is not entirely unexpected that we would have cases confirmed in caregivers," the statement reads. "We have been preparing for the likelihood of widespread community infection and have been adjusting our policies to provide the right balance of protecting our co-workers and physicians while also being able to provide safe patient care for our community."

A CMH employee tested positive for COVID-19 on March 28, according to a news release.

The employee, who works in Bolivar and lives in Cedar County, doesn't have direct contact with patients, the release said. The individual, as well as colleagues with close contact, are in self-quarantine. The colleagues have not shown symptoms of the coronavirus.

The CMH employee on March 19 sought care at Stockton Family Medical Center. The individual called ahead so that preparations could be made, according to the release.

"We immediately implemented the procedures outlined in our emergency preparedness plan," said Gary Fulbright, CEO and executive director of CMH, in the release. "Although this news may cause concern in the Bolivar and Stockton communities, please know we are prepared and will continue to work with local, state and federal agencies to protect the health of our employees and residents in the communities we serve."

CoxHealth and the Taney County Health Department separately issued statements about an employee with the health care system who tested positive for COVID-19 in Branson.

The individual is a Christian County resident and a health care employee at the CoxHealth Heart Center clinic in Branson, according to a news release from the Taney County Health Department. Taney County officials are working with the Christian County Health Department on the case.

“Our primary concern is the health and safety of the community,” said Lisa Marshall, director of the Taney County Health Department, in the release. “We are working closely with CoxHealth and the Christian County Health Department to ensure all precautionary measures are taken to protect clinic staff and patients, and the community.”

The individual is in isolation and all close contacts have been notified. The source of the infection is unknown.

"We are glad to report that the employee is doing well and recovering at home," CoxHealth officials said in a statement.

The CoxHealth statement indicates the clinic reopens today after a deep cleaning yesterday.


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