Klamath County healthcare worker tests positive for COVID-19

This article has been updated to add a statement from Sky Lakes Medical Center.

KLAMATH COUNTY, Ore. – A healthcare worker in Klamath County has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. It’s the second confirmed coronavirus case in the county.

According to Klamath County Public Health, they learned about the positive test while tallying numbers Thursday morning. The new case will probably not appear in statewide totals until Friday.

While identifying information about the case is being withheld due to privacy laws, health officials are investigating and contacting anyone who had contact with the infected person.

“Our highest priority is the health and safety of our community. We will take all steps necessary to ensure safety while also holding to our core value of integrity. We will not release the name, address or other identifying information about this person,” said Jennifer Little, KCPH director. “It is a matter of integrity to our team and patient confidentiality.”

No further information about this specfic case has been publicly released by health officials. However, Sky Lakes Medical Center said the infected person was one of their employees. A Sky Lakes Medical Center spokesperson released the following statement:

The second confirmed COVID-19 case in Klamath County is a Sky Lakes employee who works at a facility away from the main medical center or Emergency Department, Sky Lakes reported today in a press release.

The individual recently traveled by plane, but did not visit one of the CDC-designated “hot spots.” The trip included a layover at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) en route to Medford.

Preliminary investigation indicates that, even though the employee displayed no symptoms upon returning for a half-day at work, the individual wore a mask while engaged in close contact with a small number of patients and other staff. Testing was initiated after onset of symptoms, and COVID-19 was later confirmed.

The individual has self-quarantined at home.

The small number of people with whom the employee had contact have been contacted, tested for COVID-19, and will be quarantined for at least 14 days, which is consistent with CDC guidelines.

Our providers and staff remain committed to taking care of our friends and neighbors. This situation demonstrates that even when we are well-meaning, we must take the threat of this virus seriously.


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