2 Presbyterian health care workers, 1 UNM Hospital worker tests positive for COVID-19 | KOB 4

2 Presbyterian health care workers, 1 UNM Hospital worker tests positive for COVID-19

Patrick Hayes
Created: April 07, 2020 05:58 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Officials with Presbyterian hospital announced Tuesday that two of their health care workers tested positive for COVID-19.

The hospital said employees that test positive are sent home to self-isolate. If they have significant symptoms, then they may be hospitalized.

At UNM Hospital, an employee sent out a letter to coworkers that said they tested positive for COVID-19.

Lovelace Medical Center would not confirm whether any of their employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

The state has no data that tracks how many state health care workers have tested positive, but they do use the CDC’s guidance when treating them for the virus.

A spokesperson with the state health department sent KOB 4 the following statement about caring for COVID-positive health care workers:

"The Department of Health investigates each health care worker case and tailors the CDC guidance on the subject to prevent further spread in other health care workers and patients as well as to help get the any COVID-positive health care worker back to caring for patients when it's safe.”

Eleanor Chavez is the executive director of the local chapter of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees. She said she wants hospitals to start testing employees even if they are not showing any symptoms.

“We know that it's probably happening more than we know about because, again, like you said, the hospitals aren't releasing that information,” Chavez said.

Chavez also said hospitals need to make sure they have enough PPE for health care workers.

According to Presbyterian, they have good supply of PPE for now.

"We've been doing everything we can to ensure a continuous supply of personal protective equipment for Presbyterian Healthcare employees and providers and have not had any significant shortfall,” said Dr. Jeff Slavon, medical director of infection control at Presbyterian Hospital.

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