4 Beaufort Memorial workers in self-isolation after possible coronavirus exposure

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BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) – Four Lowcountry hospital workers are now in self-isolation after coming in contact with two “persons under investigation” for coronavirus.

They work at one of Beaufort Memorial’s satellite offices.

We’re told they helped screen and treat the patients who originally came in with flu-like symptoms.

Officials later found out the patients may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Right now, none of the affected has been diagnosed with the virus.

“The two patients have not tested positive as of now,” said Dr. Kurt Gambla, Beaufort Memorial Chief Medical Officer. “If they do test positive that would raise our index a little. We don’t want to wait until its late in the game, we would rather early in the game take them out of the rotation, put them in a safe place and then if they do end up in a high-risk group they will be placed in quarantine.”

The employees will remain isolated until test results are reported. Appropriate actions and guidelines will be followed based on those results.

“Our four employees are considered low-risk for COVID-19; however, testing for COVID 19 will be conducted by an authorized lab as a precaution,” said BMH President and CEO Russell Baxley.

To ensure the safety of all patients and staff, the hospital continues to follow patient-handling and infection-prevention guidelines recommended by DHEC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“We feel like the area was very contained and the exposure to the people was very contained and then we have certain terminal cleaning procedures anyway,” said Dr. Gambla. “So we feel like there is no risk for anyone coming in today that they would have and secondary exposure to what happened last week.”

For more information about these guidelines and testing criteria for COVID-19 visit cdhec.gov/health/infectious-diseases or cdc.gov/coronavirus. For information about Beaufort Memorial, visit beaufortmemorial.org.

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