Penn Medicine says several employees have tested positive for COVID-19

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Thursday, March 19, 2020
Penn Medicine workers test positive for COVID-19
A spokesperson with Penn Medicine tells Action News that several employees within their health system have tested positive for the coronavirus.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Several health care providers at Penn Medicine have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in quarantine in their homes, according to a spokesperson.

Health care officials said they have implemented strict visitation guidelines at all Penn Medicine hospitals and outpatient facilities to protect patients and staff during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Penn officials said they've contacted patients and staff who might have been exposed to the workers who tested positive.

Between Penn Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania, there are more than 39,000 employees, making it the largest private employer in Philadelphia.

Penn Medicine has a number of locations across the region and right now officials aren't disclosing which buildings the cases and exposures occurred.

At this time, medical officials won't reveal how many of their employees have tested positive or where they think they got it.

They also are not saying how many patients or visitors may have been exposed.

Officials said those who might have came in contact with the infected employees now have instructions on how to lookout for symptoms.

A spokesperson with Penn Medicine tells Action News that several employees within their health system have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Read Penn Medicine's statement below:

"Over the past day, Penn Medicine became aware of several healthcare providers who practice across our health system who have tested positive for COVID-19. As the prevalence of the virus continues in our region, all hospitals will be forced to deal with these issues. We are uniquely well-prepared to quickly take the steps necessary to ensure the safety and protection of patients and staff during this fast-moving and challenging time. We have worked to swiftly identify and contact both patients and staff who may have been exposed to these individuals while they were working, to provide instructions for precautionary measures and self-monitoring. These providers are in quarantine at home and are adhering to all precautions recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)."

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Penn Medicine released the following information on new visitation restrictions at all facilities:

Penn Medicine Inpatient Visits

In inpatient facilities, no visitors will be permitted except under special circumstances.

These circumstances include:

  • Visitation of a patient nearing the end of life
  • Parent visitation of a child in our intensive care nurseries
  • One coach or partner for each patient on our labor and delivery units
  • One visitor at a time for patients in inpatient hospice units
  • One parent at a time for pediatric patients
  • One visitor to accompany patients for hospital discharge
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Penn Medicine Outpatient Appointments

For all outpatient appointments:

  • One visitor will be permitted to accompany a patient to facilitate care or treatment such as an ambulatory visit, procedure or same-day surgery
  • No child under the age of 12 years will be permitted to visit under any circumstances.
  • Health screening procedures will be required in circumstances where a visitor is allowed by exception.
  • Keep in mind that the health care providers across the system will continue to reschedule appointments as needed

As of Thursday morning, there are 154 positive cases in the commonwealth, including a Northampton County resident who died from the virus.