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Local employee at Long Term Care tests positive for COVID-19

On November 7, YKHC confirmed a local employee at the YKHC Long Term Care (LTC) center tested positive for COVID-19. The individual was asympomatic and tested as part of YKHC’s mandatory, routine staff surveillance. The staff member does not work directly with patients at the facility and has been adhering to all required PPE policies while working. The individual is currently self-isolating.

Today YKHC is performing facility-wide COVID-19 testing of all residents and staff. This testing will be repeated every three days for a period of time to ensure all residents and staff are safe.

At the onset of and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, YKHC initiated several protective measures at the Long Term Care center to protect the safety and well-being of our residents and caregivers. In March, YKHC suspended visitation to the facility, began symptoms screening and temperature checks of all employees reporting to work, and all staff are required to wear masks at all times upon entry to the facility. YKHC has ended communal dining, group/congregate activities, and screens residents for symptoms twice daily. YKHC has conducted routine weekly testing of all LTC staff since May and routine monthly testing of residents since June. In October, YKHC began testing LTC residents weekly.

“Widespread community-based transmission of COVID-19 in Bethel means the virus is spreading swiftly, broadly, and undetected,” said YKHC Vice President of Hospital Services Jim Sweeney. “We encourage the public to shelter in place at home as much as possible, follow all COVID-19 precautions, and to take advantage of public testing hours at our drive-thru testing tent. Your actions will help to protect the loved ones of your neighbors who reside at our Long-Term Care center.”

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COVID-19: Call Before Seeking Care

If you have symptoms like a fever, cough or shortness of breath, do not go to your village clinic and do not go to the Emergency Room in Bethel. Instead, call your village clinic, or in Bethel, call 543-6949.