LMH Health employee tests positive for COVID-19, but did not expose patients or other staff, hospital says

photo by: Chris Conde

LMH Health is pictured in a file photo from October 2018.

An LMH Health employee tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday, but had not worked a shift at the Lawrence hospital since June 15.

LMH Health said in a Thursday press release that the employee was unknowingly exposed to COVID-19 outside the LMH Health facility after June 15 and, therefore, no patients or other staff members were exposed to COVID-19 from this employee.

The employee began experiencing symptoms on Monday evening and immediately informed LMH Health, the release stated. The employee is now in isolation and is in contact with the Employee Health team to monitor symptoms and health status.

“Our region has seen an increase in COVID positive healthcare workers,” said Dr. Jennifer Schrimsher, an infectious disease physician with LMH Health. “These have generally been from community transmissions, not patient care. Everyone still needs to wear a mask, keep their distance, avoid large gatherings, and be diligent about hand hygiene. We still need to avoid nonessential travel and pay attention to the ever-evolving travel restrictions.”

LMH Health employees are screened prior to each shift, the release stated. During the screening, the employees’ temperatures are taken, and employees are provided with a mask.

LMH Health President and CEO Russ Johnson said that LMH Health continues to maintain stringent guidelines to protect employees, clinicians and patients, and that the hospital and its clinics are “safe to care for you during this unprecedented time.”

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