From a September 17, 2020, Evergreen Health press release.
EvergreenHealth confirmed today that two patients receiving inpatient care at the EvergreenHealth Kirkland campus have tested positive for COVID-19. The organization notified the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) immediately following receipt of the test results.
“We believe these two patients contracted the novel coronavirus while in our care. However, due to the nature of how this virus is transmitted, the actual transmission source is unclear,” said Ettore Palazzo, MD, Chief Medical & Quality Officer of EvergreenHealth.
He went on to say, “The virus may have been transmitted through a health care worker, family member, or visitor. We cannot be definitively certain. What we are sure of, is that this serves as a very unfortunate reminder that everyone needs to remain astutely vigilant to ensure we’re collectively working to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”
EvergreenHealth clinical and operational leaders met with the DOH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the Kirkland campus yesterday for a voluntary site visit.
Both the CDC and DOH offered site visit opportunities to hospitals and health systems in the area, in light of other recent hospital-acquired COVID-19 cases, to collaboratively review policies and procedures.
“We continue to depend on the support and guidance from the CDC, DOH, as well as Public Health—Seattle & King County and other trusted health officials. We appreciated the opportunity to speak with them in person and to round with them to experience our processes first-hand,” Dr. Palazzo said.
He added, “We have shared the news of the two hospital-acquired COVID-19 cases with staff and physicians across our system and look to keep our community and partners informed as well. We remain fully dedicated to providing the safest possible environment of care for our patients, staff and visitors, and do so by continuing to evolve based on our collective learnings.”
EvergreenHealth is contacting 100 employees who met specific criteria and have had various levels of possible exposure to the two hospital-acquired COVID-19 patients. Potentially exposed staff are being tested for COVID-19 in relationship to their possible exposure to one or both of these patients.
“We remind everyone to please exercise extreme caution in monitoring your own health and symptoms. Stay home if you have any symptoms or aren’t feeling well. Monitor your symptoms and seek medical care when in doubt—and quickly, if your symptoms become severe. This is how we can best advocate for our own health and the health of everyone around us,” said Francis X. Riedo, MD, Medical Director of Infection Control & Prevention at EvergreenHealth.
EvergreenHealth encourages anyone in the community to call the health system’s 24/7 Nurse Navigator & Healthline to speak with a registered nurse about any possible COVID-19 symptoms.
Healthline can refer community members to a nearby location to receive a COVID-19 test or they can recommend additional care options, depending on the caller’s individual health needs and is a free service provided by funding from the EvergreenHealth levy.