UPDATE: Another CK hospital worker tests positive for COVID-19

The main entrance sign at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. (File photo by Jake Kislinsky)

Less than two days after Chatham-Kent’s hospital reported that a staff member had tested positive for COVID-19, health officials have confirmed that another worker has also received a positive test.

Fannie Vavoulis, the director of communications at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA), told Blackburn News on Friday that the hospital was notified late Thursday evening of the second staffer who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Hospital officials declined to comment further on the most recent case.

“We do not comment on health status of our employees due [to] privacy and confidentiality,” said Vavoulis in an email to Blackburn News.

However, Dr. David Colby, the medical officer of health for Chatham-Kent, confirmed the infected hospital employee works in housekeeping.

The first staff member, who works in an acute care area of the hospital, tested positive for the virus on Wednesday. Around 25 other staff members have who had contact with the staff member have been notified and are self-isolating. Health officials said the worker who tested positive has not shown any symptoms.

Colby said he is waiting for further test results before declaring an outbreak at CKHA.  Colby previously told Blackburn News that two positive cases would be required before an outbreak can be declared.

“We are not confirming that this is an actual case yet,” Colby said about the first positive test. “I’m convinced that the second case is a true positive but I am not convinced that the first case is a true case yet. I’m waiting to get confirmation on that.”

Colby said he is waiting for more results before declaring an outbreak at the CKHA. He added that there is no link between the two employees to suggest a spread of the virus.

He said the second employee likely contracted the virus through close contact with family.

“Anyone who has the potential to be a close contact with this case has been advised by us to isolate,” he said, adding that around six other individuals have been contacted.

Colby added that the second case is also asymptomatic.

The announcement of CKHA’s second positive test comes the same week Chatham-Kent Public Health reported the municipality’s second death related to COVID-19. There are currently 93 active COVID-19 cases in the municipality, two of which are currently hospitalized at the CKHA. One other case has been hospitalized elsewhere.

As a result of the positive tests at the hospital, CKHA has taken further precautions by cancelling visiting hours to all non-essential visitors at both of its Chatham and Wallaceburg sites.