Crestwood Medical Center physician, employee test positive for COVID-19

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Crestwood Medical Center CEO Dr. Pam Hudson said a hospital employee tested positive for COVID-19, During Tuesday’s Huntsville-area daily briefing.

“We have one staff positive. And we’ve got a few of our employees who test positive from outside contact. And they’re sitting on the sidelines waiting for their 14 days to be up,” Hudson said.

Hudson said there 96 cases in Madison County and 13 patients are hospitalized at this time.

Around 4 p.m. Tuesday, a spokesperson for Crestwood Medical Center clarified Hudson’s statement and said two hospital associates tested positive. You can read their statement below.

We wanted to clarify statements made during the briefing this afternoon…
Crestwood Medical Center learned that 2 of our associates (one physician and one employee) have tested positive for COVID-19. One is in the hospital for care; the other is quarantined at home.  Additionally, we have had 2 patients test positive in the Emergency Department and neither needed inpatient care. 

Working in coordination with the health department, we are following established CDC procedures to identify and communicate directly with any potentially exposed staff and patients.

The Alabama Department of Public Health reports 951 confirmed positive cases in Alabama, with one death in Madison County as of the noon briefing.

WHNT News 19 has received dozens of calls and emails from people from across North Alabama concerned about having to report to work during the pandemic. They cite concerns about not enough social distancing and coworkers who they suspect have tested positive for the virus. While Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has ordered most retail businesses to close, other operations such as construction sites, manufacturing operations or transportation, continue to operate. When asked what employees can do to get help, Madison Mayor Paul Finley said the city has connected workers and employers with ADPH.

“We’ve heard a couple of instances where both employees or folks from the outside looking in have said, ‘I’m not sure that we’re as safe as we possibly could,'” Finley said. “We worked with ADPH on specific examples to the point where we were able to get information back to that respective person and employer. In one instance where there was a little bit more ambiguity, ADPH was ready to go make a personal visit to make sure that they were within compliance. I can just tell you right now, typically that’s how we’ve handled things.”

EMA Director Jeff Birdwell said any concerns their office receives from Madison County residents will be forwarded to ADPH.

Anyone with questions or concerns can contact ADPH by calling their statewide hotline at 800-270-7268 or by emailing covid19info@adph.state.al.us. Calls will be answered from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily. To contact the Huntsville/Madison County Emergency Management Center, call 256-427-5130.

HEMSI CEO John Howell said first responders have seen a 20 percent decrease in calls. He said people who have to call 911 will be asked if they have a fever or are experiencing symptoms so those first responders can be prepared. Howell said four paramedics are self-isolating after making contact with someone that tested positive. All of the paramedics are asymptomatic, Howell said.

Finley warned about scammers taking advantage of the current pandemic and advised people to not open anything from an unknown sender. He said most businesses have complied with the new health order. For more information about the coronavirus response, Finley encouraged people to visit madisonal.gov, huntsvilleal.gov and madisoncountyal.gov.

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