The medical professionals who have tested positive for COVID-19 include two ER physicians at a Chicago suburban hospital, two doctors associated with Washington University, a doctor in Austin, Texas, as well as a doctor at a children’s hospital in Wisconsin.
In a statement published on NBC, authorities from Rush Oak Park Hospital in Chicago – the hospital where the first two doctors in this report worked – said they, in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Public Health, are currently assessing the overall risk of exposure that may have stemmed from the two doctors.
“One doctor has not been seeing patients for several days prior when he would have been contagious. The other may have had patient and peer contact and we are assessing the overall risk of exposure, working and advising patients and peers as appropriate,” the hospital said, adding that there is a high likelihood that the two doctors’ cases of the coronavirus were community transmitted.
The hospital, in its statement, emphasized that all 12,000 people who work throughout the Rush Health System have been trained on correct infection protection protocols such as hand washing, gowning and masking.
As reported by the U.K. Daily Mail, news of the two doctors’ diagnoses has prompted the leaders of the Village of Oak Park to enact a shelter-in-place ordinance – the first municipality in Illinois to do so.
Meanwhile, the two doctors who tested positive for the coronavirus at Washington University in St Louis in Missouri, have been quarantined in their respective homes, as reported by KMOV 4.
According to WUSL officials, they are now actively working to identify the people who may have had contact with the two infected individuals.
Speaking about the incident, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said there is reason to believe that community exposure might already be taking place in the city.
“While we still don’t have any detected signs of community transmission at this time, this case underscores the importance of what our healthcare professionals have been telling us,” Krewson said, adding that individuals exhibiting cold or flu-like symptoms must immediately seek medical attention.
St. David’s HealthCare, a hospital in Austin, Texas, meanwhile, confirmed that one of its physicians has tested positive for the coronavirus.
According to hospital officials, they are now working to identify any patients or healthcare workers with whom the doctor may have come into contact.
“We will contact patients and providers who may require further observation and/or testing based on our risk assessment,” hospital authorities said in a statement to local Texas station KXAN.
According to St David’s, its workers will continue to follow best practices for preventing the spread of the coronavirus in light of this recent development.