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Care for healthcare workers: more cases popping up on the COVID-19 frontline

(Source: WRDW)
(Source: WRDW)(WRDW)
Published: May. 27, 2020 at 5:01 PM EDT
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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, GA. (WRDW/WAGT) -- It only takes one asymptomatic person to spread COVID-19 to any number of people. But things can get tricky when those people are the ones in charge of caring for us.

In a statement, Doctors Hospital says out of an abundance of caution, they even temporarily “paused admissions to one area of the hospital.”

And Doctors isn’t the only one. University Hospital also had an outbreak in their Kentwood extended care facility last month, where nine staff members got sick.

And as of May 22, Edgefield County Healthcare says five employees there tested positive.

Dr. Pascha Schafer, the chief quality officer at AU Health, says when staff gets sick things can get more difficult when caring for patients.

"There were a couple areas that got pretty slim," Schafer said. "However, when things were at their height, we also did decrease a lot of our elective procedures, a lot of our ambulatory operations. So we were able to shift staff from those areas to areas that may be short for other reasons."

We asked all our major hospitals about how they’re keeping healthcare workers safe so they can keep us safe.

The responses were similar across the board: Temperatures taken before every shift. Everyone screened before entering the hospital. Treating COVID-19 patients in a separate area. And of course, extra cleaning.

"On our 5-west, which is our inpatient COVID unit, they play a song every two hours and wipe everything down while they’re all singing along," Schafer said.

Safety measures in place and all, being on the front lines is a risky business.

"I have never been so proud of just the way our colleagues of every type have stepped up and really taken this in stride," Schafer said

As for the employees who tested positive at Doctors Hospital, the hospital said they are all doing alright and are quarantining safely at home.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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