Tulare County Public Health Branch and Kaweah Delta Report Second Confirmed Case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
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VISALIA – On March 13, Tulare County Public Health Branch officials
notified Kaweah Delta that a patient screened at its Medical Center tested
positive for COVID-19.
The individual is currently self-quarantined at their home and Kaweah Delta
is working closely with Tulare County Health & Human Services to monitor
the situation. It has been determined that Kaweah Delta employees followed
proper infection prevention protocols throughout contact with the individual
and there is no reason to believe that anyone was infected during this
time. Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, Kaweah
Delta is closely monitoring all employees who came in contact with the
patient, and will test and treat anyone who displays symptoms.
“We are committed to the health and safety of this community and
we continue to work tremendously hard to ensure that we are doing everything
possible to keep patients, staff, and visitors safe,” said Gary
Herbst, Kaweah Delta’s Chief Executive Officer. “We have a
dedicated team that works on infection prevention measures year-round,
but we established a dedicated task force in February that has been meeting
regularly to help us improve our plan as COVID-19 has evolved.”
This task force has 12 sub-committees that have been focused on specific
aspects or areas of our organization.
Effective immediately, Kaweah Delta has also activated an incident command
center in the Medical Center that will be staffed 24/7 to ensure that
the organization can immediately respond to any situations that may arise.
Senior administrative and clinical leaders will be staffing this command
center. They are in frequent contact with Tulare County Health & Human
Services, local hospitals, and other local healthcare providers to coordinate
our responses to evolving community needs.
Kaweah Delta has taken a number of measures to put the health and safety
of patients and visitors first. They include limiting patients to one
visitor (children cannot visit) across the healthcare district, except
for at its skilled nursing program, where no visitors are allowed except
for end-of-life patients. Additionally, Kaweah Delta implemented temporary
entrance changes that will limit the number of people going into areas
where patients may be present. It has also cancelled all public events,
removed volunteers from its sites, cancelled business travel, and asked
its more than 5,000 employees to cancel internal meetings planned for
14 or more individuals and use teleconferencing or online meetings instead.
Kaweah Delta will continue to share COVID-19 information and regular updates
with the community on its website at
www.kaweahdelta.org/COVID19, via media statements, and on its social media accounts.
Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency advises if you think you
have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory
illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, please call your primary
physician or 2-1-1 rather than walking into a medical office or hospital.
Your physician will connect with Tulare County Public Health to determine
if testing is appropriate. Tulare County Public Health Officer: 559-685-5720
or 559-471-7092 after hours and weekends.