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News Release
PeaceHealth St. John reports two patients testing positive for COVID-19 after admission - 02/22/21

Longview, Wash. – Last week, PeaceHealth St. John identified two current inpatients and some now discharged patients who are confirmed with COVID-19. These patients were not initially admitted for COVID-19 and received a negative COVID-19 test upon admission.

As a result of an additional safety precautions implemented two weeks ago at the hospital, these patients were retested through what is referred to as COVID-19 surveillance testing. They were not showing any COVID symptoms. This level of testing, which only some hospitals have implemented, is an extra level of protection that addresses the long incubation period of COVID-19 and any potential exposures after admission. Patients are tested on day five and again in another seven days if they are still admitted.

“We are taking this potential exposure very seriously and it remains an ongoing investigation to ensure all close contacts, patients and caregivers are identified and quarantined, if necessary,” said Lawrence Neville, MD, Chief Medical Officer. “We continue to take extraordinary steps daily.”

“Our objective is to safeguard the health of patients and staff,” said Dr. Steven Krager, Deputy Health Officer for Cowlitz County. “Cowlitz County Health and Human Services is working in close partnership with PeaceHealth to notify those who may have been exposed and to help make sure all cases are isolated.”

Safety remains a top priority for PeaceHealth. This includes adherence to CDC and state guidelines, employees wearing personal protective equipment and masks, taking the daily temperature of all employees, testing all admitted patients, restricting visitors, and caring for COVID patients on a dedicated, isolated unit.

“Unfortunately, even though more people are being vaccinated, this is a reminder that COVID remains in our community and can spread very rapidly. We must all remain vigilant about physical distancing, wearing masks and limiting our gatherings,” added Neville.

About PeaceHealth: PeaceHealth, based in Vancouver, Wash., is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. It has approximately 16,000 caregivers, a group practice with more than 900 providers and 10 medical centers serving both urban and rural communities throughout the Northwest. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. The Sisters shared expertise and transferred wisdom from one medical center to another, always finding the best way to serve the unmet need for healthcare in their communities. Today, PeaceHealth is the legacy of the founding Sisters and continues with a spirit of respect, stewardship, collaboration and social justice in fulfilling its Mission. Visit us online at peacehealth.org.

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