VISALIA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia reported Friday that 21 of its employees have tested positive for COVID-19 as healthcare workers battle the outbreak in Tulare County.
All employees who tested positive were sent home to quarantine, said Laura Florez-McCusker, Director of Media Relations. Two out of the 21 have since fully recovered and are back at work after testing negative for coronavirus.
None of the employees have required hospitalization so far.
There are currently 382 reported COVID-19 cases in Tulare County, resulting in 17 deaths and 25 recoveries, according to the county’s Public Health Branch.
COVID-19 has struck two senior care facilities in the county: Lindsay Gardens Nursing and Rehabilitation, with 16 cases, and Redwood Springs Healthcare Center — with 156 cases and 10 deaths.
Kaweah Delta, along with other health providers, have stepped up to help provide staff at Redwood Springs after concerns that the facility would have to close due to a lack of staffing.
Florez-McCusker said the hospital has a list of about 25 registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, certified nursing assistants, etc. who are ready and willing to help care for patients at the senior facility.
Kaweah Delta has also provided technical support, personal protective equipment and the hospital’s recently retired director of nursing who has come out of retirement to help provide leadership support to Redwood Springs.
Florez-McCusker said no patient in the hospital’s skilled nursing program has contracted COVID-19 to date. Kaweah Delta placed the facility that houses the program on lock down almost immediately, instituting a no-visitor policy.
The hospital screens its employees daily when they arrive to work and whenever they return to the facility throughout the day.
This includes taking temperatures and checking for COVID-19 symptoms, Florez-McCusker said. Employees with symptoms may not enter the building and must quarantine themselves.
Kaweah Delta immplemented a policy two weeks ago that mandated all employees wear a face mask at work and to practice social distancing, perform regular and proper hand hygine and constantly disenfect surfaces.
Note: COVID-19 data updates often. The numbers in this story were accurate at the time of its writing.