McKenzie-Wilmette employee test positive; 27 under surveillance


SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – A total of 27 employees at McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center are under “surveillance” on Friday after another employee tested positive for COVID-19.

According to hospital spokesman and marketing director Jana Waterman, the employee tested positive after a trip to Mexico. Waterman could not say how the other 27 people came in contact with him, but a source aware of the situation says that the infected worker worked in at least one shift in the emergency room after returning from Mexico.

“We’re testing the people with whom he came in contact,” Waterman said. “This is a precautionary measure. Not showing any signs or symptoms. ”

Oregon Nurses Association communications manager Kevin Mayley said safety is always a top priority in the health care industry.

“What I have seen from nurses during this epidemic is extreme caution. In their workplace and in their personal lives, so that they can protect themselves and their community.” He has taken extraordinary steps to keep himself, his family and his patients safe. ”

It is not known whether the employee who tested positive for COVID-19 is a nurse. Mealy also said that ONA has signed a contract that would provide two weeks of sick leave to health care workers at McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center if employees contract COVID-19 at work. This is something that was not done until yesterday.

KEZI 9 News will update as the story develops.

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