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HonorHealth employees put on alert after patient diagnosed with coronavirus

HonorHealth Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center
Posted at 4:18 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 23:40:35-05

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — HonorHealth employees received an email Tuesday from CEO Todd LaPorte revealing a patient recently hospitalized at their Scottsdale Osborn location tested positive for the coronavirus.

FULL SECTION: Coronavirus

The email states the company's main goal is to ensure employee safety while continuing to provide critical services to the community.

Health officials say the patient, who was confirmed as a "presumptive positive" case on Tuesday, is now in isolation at home and the department will continue to advise the hospital on its next steps.

"What we want them to do is isolate them so that they don't have exposure to other patients, and then try to potentially cohort the health care workers so that then you're not having those health care workers go from somebody who has this suspected disease to other patients," said Dr. Cara Christ with the State Health Department.

Officials say the patient is in his twenties and contracted the virus from another infected person outside our state.

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"This individual's risk factor is contact with the presumptive positive in Florida. Other than that, I don't know if they had traveled to Florida, if they had gone on a trip," Dr. Christ explained.

In the email to employees, the hospital is telling staff they've been proactively developing a plan to respond to this type of situation since late January.

It also says they're scaling up their pandemic preparedness plan, conserving protective gear, medications, and ICU supplies.

"With something like this, if we feel there is a high risk of exposure, we are going to give information so that people that may have been at that location or may have come into contact with the individual, the public should know it," said Dr. Christ.

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As cases continue to be discovered, HonorHealth is also evaluating their surge plans at each campus, readying additional space if quarantine is needed.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon HonorHealth officials said in part, "Healthcare systems are routinely trained and equipped to respond to infectious diseases, and HonorHealth, like all other health systems, has strict infection prevention protocols in place to handle suspected or confirmed cases of the illness. Because our staff and physicians follow standard practices and procedures to limit exposure to contagions, there is little cause for concern among anyone else who has been, or is currently being cared for in the hospital."

Officials say if you are at risk for exposure from this patient, the State Health Department will contact you.