Carson Medical Group confirms positive virus tests among staff | NevadaAppeal.com
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Carson Medical Group confirms positive virus tests among staff

Carson Medical Group has reported some positive tests for coronavirus among its health care staff.

The medical practice, which is both employer and medical provider to its employees, will not disclose the number of positive tests due to privacy rules, said Becky Hepler, administrator/COO, Carson Medical Group.

“As a health care organization continuing to provide essential services with over 180 employees, and the known prevalence of COVID-19 in our community, we knew it would only be a matter of time until some employees were exposed to the virus,” said Hepler. “Carson Medical Group has immense gratitude for our providers and staff for putting themselves at additional risk in order to continue to care for our community during these challenging times.”

Hepler did say the number of positive cases is far fewer than the 29 cases that were rumored in the community.

All positive tests for coronavirus must be reported to the health agency where the individual lives so any employee who tested positive and resides in the quad-county area is already included in reported cases.

As of April 14, 49 positive tests have been reported in Carson City and Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties, according to Carson City Health and Human Services, the agency for all those jurisdictions. Of those, 38 remain active, 11 are recovered, and three individuals are now hospitalized.

Any Carson Medical Group employee who tests positive and lives in Reno or Sparks would be reported to Washoe County and not included in the quad-county data.

The medical group’s policy is to require employees with any symptoms to stay home and be tested, said Hepler. She said no employee has shown up to work with symptoms and sent home; all have called in and not come into work.

Hepler said there are some false negative tests, a problem which has been reported nationwide, and employees are required to remain on self-quarantine if they test negative but are still experiencing symptoms.

Hepler said the medical group instituted new procedures in mid-March in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Those procedures include masks worn by all staff; all non-essential visits canceled and as many visits as possible conducted remotely via telehealth; all patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms seen at CMG Plus, the group’s walk-in clinic; temperatures taken of all visitors; and all patients wait in their cars until an exam room is ready for their appointment.

“Carson Medical Group continues to be available to our patients in their times of need, striving to provide high quality patient-centered care in a safe environment,” said Hepler.

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Carson Tahoe Health said Wednesday two employees have tested positive.

“As the region’s healthcare system, we provide vital services to our community.  We are on the frontlines of this outbreak treating patients with COVID related symptoms, as well as sick non-COVID related patients. We have experienced no in-hospital transmission of COVID-19. Two of about 2000 employees at Carson Tahoe Health acquired COVID-19 from the community or family members. These employees are recovering at home and following CDC recommendations to self-quarantine,” a statement from Carson Tahoe Health said.