Murray-Calloway County Hospital today confirmed the county’s first case of COVID-19: one of its employees. According to a press release, the employee spent time with an out-of-town visitor who attended a church service in Murray last weekend. Calloway County Health Department confirms the service was at Murray's University Church of Christ, who last night alerted the community via social media a visitor at their March 15 service tested positive for the new coronavirus.
MCCH said after learning the visitor tested positive on March 17, its employee reported before their March 18 shift they had been in contact with that visitor. Per protocol, the hospital reports, the employee was immediately taken to occupational medicine for review and then sent home with instructions for quarantine.
Late Thursday evening, the hospital received notification the employee tested positive for the new coronavirus.
According to the press release, the employee and their family “are fine” and have been instructed to continue quarantine. It also states the hospital immediately shared the information with the Calloway County Health Department so further investigations could begin.
MCCH Chief Nursing Officer Jeff Eye said until the hospital has the capability to conduct widespread surveillance testing, the available tests are only utilized for patients who have been identified as at-risk by a physician. Other hospitals in the region have reported a similar testing protocol.
MCCH said they’re checking temperatures of all employees before each shift as a precautionary measure. The hospital has also opened a dedicated respiratory illness clinic to handle the large influx of Influenza A and Strep cases, and in preparation for incoming COVID-19 cases.
The Murray Medical Associates Respiratory Walk-In Clinic is located in the Medical Arts Building at 180 West. Patients who feel they need to be evaluated are required to call ahead: 270-753-0704.
Community members with concerns regarding risk of exposure are encouraged to contact the Kentucky COVID-19 Hotline: 800-722-5725.