Two NorthBay Vaca Valley workers in isolation after testing presumptive positive for Coronavirus
Two employees at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital were reportedly presumptive positive for the Novel Coronavirus, aka COVID-19, Solano and Alameda County health officials announced in a joint news release Sunday.
The two cases are pending official confirmatory testing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), officials wrote.
The two health care workers are presently in isolation at their homes, with one being a Solano County resident and the other an Alameda County resident. Both had been exposed to a community-acquired case who had previously stayed at NorthBay VacaValley for three days before it was determined she did not fit the Coronavirus testing. With her condition worsening, the patient was transferred to the University of California, Davis Medical Center in Sacramento where it was determined she did have the virus and was administered appropriate care.
According to Solano and Alameda health officials, the initial case is slowly recovering, and her family members had negative test results for the virus and remain in quarantine. She was the first patient to contract the virus without known exposure to another patient or who had traveled to an impacted region.
“Due to the aggressive measures that public health and hospital staff undertook, all potential exposures to the case were promptly identified and isolated so that patients are not placed at higher risk. Due to the aggressive measures that public health and hospital staff undertook, all potential exposures to the case were promptly identified and isolated so that patients are not placed at higher risk. Health care officials have immediately updated protocols and procedures to ensure patient safety is prioritized,” Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County health officer, said in a statement “This underscores the challenging environment that health care workers everywhere face to stem the spread of communicable diseases, including COVID-19. Health care and Public Health officials throughout the state are committed to protecting patients.”
Health care workers who were in contact with the initial patient as she was hospitalized were quickly identified by Public Health and hospital staff and will stay in isolation or quarantine and not return to patient care until they are cleared, officials wrote.
Officials noted that additional coronavirus cases may occur among those who had contact and that the initial patient did not meet the CDC’s criteria for Coronavirus testing nor the “high-risk threshold” for Coronavirus-specific protective personal equipment by those providing care.
“As always, our top priority is the health and safety of our patients, our staff, physicians and the community,” Aimee Brewer, president of NorthBay HealthCare Group, said in a statement. “We took immediate and comprehensive measures intended to stop any further spread of the virus, including working with public health officials to trace the contacts the two workers may have had. We remain in close contact with national, state and local public health authorities to ensure we are following the most up-to-date protocols and procedures for dealing with this evolving situation.”
Brewer further wrote that the two health care workers followed the CDC protocols that were in place at the time regarding the Coronavirus. Since the initial case, the CDC has updated its protocols for evaluating and treating possible cases, which NorthBay has implemented.
“The protocols also are designed to ensure that our hospitals remain safe for all patients in the community who need our care and for those who provide it,” she wrote.
Jayleen Richards, Solano County’s Public Health administrator, told The Reporter
the two employees were tested by the California Department of Public Health and deemed “presumptive positive,” meaning they will be sent to the CDC for confirmation.
“Once they’re considered presumptive positive, the county must act as if they are positive and start its investigations,” she said.
Richards said the investigations would consist of individuals the workers may have been in contact with.
“We triage those, screen those and decide what steps need to be taken from then,” she said.
Richards said the Solano NorthBay employee is not currently displaying any symptoms as she remains in isolation at her home. Additionally, Richards said the current number of positive cases is three, including a resident who last Friday was announced to have been aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where a coronavirus outbreak was discovered off the Port of Yokohama, Japan.
On Monday, approximately 140 patients under quarantine at Travis Air Force Base who were determined not to be a threat to the community boarded buses to local airports, where they will be allowed to return home. The patients were all Diamond Princess passengers.
To help prevent the spread of germs, the county advises taking such precautions as washing hands with liquid soap and water while rubbing for at least 20 seconds, covering your mouth or nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing; not touching your eyes, nose or mouth; staying home when sick and getting a flu shot to protect yourself and others from getting the flu, which has similar symptoms to the Coronavirus.
For more information, go to cdc.gov/COVID19 or to NorthBay’s webpage at northbay.org/about/Coronavirus.cfm.
Dr. Bela Matyas, Public Health Officer, Solano County Health and Social Services, Public Health Division answers questions about a Solano County resident who tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus during a press conference last week. Two healthcare workers at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital who had contact with the patient have tested as presumptive positive for the disease and are currently in isolation at their homes, one in Solano County and the other in Alameda County.
Chartered busses carrying some of the nearly 140 passengers who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruises ship leave Travis Air Force Base Monday after finishing their 14-day quarantine period. The people were determined not to be a threat and were being transported to various locations around the area to travel to their final destinations.