WINCHESTER — Valley Health has confirmed that several of its employees have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.
A media release issued today by Carol Weare, public relations manager of the Winchester-based health care network, said all of the workers are under quarantine and being treated on an outpatient basis.
The release does not provide the total number of Valley Health employees with the coronavirus, the positions they hold or the facilities where they work.
"The impacted employees are entitled to the same HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996] privacy as any other patient; accordingly, Valley Health will not disclose employee names or any other information that might be used to infer patient identity," the release states.
According to Weare, Valley Health officials are "fairly certain" that each employee contracted the virus outside of the workplace.
"The fact that we haven't yet had any work-acquired cases reinforces the importance of the proper use of infection control protocols, screening tools and telemedicine as the first lines of defense in managing those who seek our care," Valley Health President and CEO Mark H. Merrill said in the release. "Our thoughts are with our coworkers who have become infected, and we look forward to their speedy recovery and return to caring for our community."
Valley Health operates six hospitals — Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, Warren Memorial Hospital in Front Royal, Shenandoah Memorial Hospital in Woodstock, Page Memorial Hospital in Luray, Hampshire Memorial Hospital in Romney, W.Va., and War Memorial Hospital in Berkeley Springs, W.Va. — as well as Urgent Care clinics, diagnostic centers, physician practices, medical transport services and a retail pharmacy.
For more on this developing story, see Thursday's edition of The Winchester Star.