Kirkland, Wash. – 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. “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. “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. Healthline is a free service provided by funding from the EvergreenHealth levy.
EvergreenHealth is an integrated health care system serving nearly one million residents in King and Snohomish counties with a breadth of services and programs that are among the most comprehensive in the region. Formed as a public hospital district in 1972, EvergreenHealth includes a 318-bed acute care medical center in Kirkland and a 72-bed hospital, EvergreenHealth Monroe, which is an accredited, full-service public hospital district established in 1960 in Monroe, Washington. The system also includes a network of 13 primary care practices, five urgent care centers, more than two dozen specialty care practices, extensive home care and hospice services, and 24/7 emergency care from its Kirkland, Monroe and Redmond locations.
EvergreenHealth remains committed to its purpose to enrich the health and well-being of the community by providing clinical excellence in more than 80 specialties and through extensive community health outreach and education programs, anchored by the 24/7 EvergreenHealth Nurse Navigator & Healthline.
The health system is consistently named as one of Healthgrades America’s 100 Best Hospitals and it is one of only 407 hospitals nationwide to hold a 5-Star Overall Rating from the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS). Learn more at www.evergreenhealth.com.
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