Gathering before Thanksgiving could have contributed to COVID-19 cases in Sentara staff, officials say


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Sentara officials say a non-Sentara gathering before Thanksgiving may have contributed to some staff members getting COVID-19.

10 On Your Side inquired about a possible outbreak in a department at a Sentara facility after receiving a tip that some staff had tested positive for the coronavirus.

A Sentara official, Lauren Patton, did not have specific details about which employees were affected. Patton said Sentara could not confirm the employee’s “individual work environments.” Patton also did not disclose how many employees tested positive.

“As with any suspected exposure or potential spread, hospital leadership and Employee Health closely collaborated to effectively manage the situation as soon as they were alerted,” Patton wrote in an email Wednesday.

Patton said the affected staff and those who could have been exposed were quarantined “quickly” in adherence with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Patient and hospital services continued as usual and were not interrupted.

No patients were exposed, Patton said.

“Our highest priority is the safety of our patients and employees. This quick response, as well as the enforcement of proper PPE usage and social distancing at work, has always been and will remain Sentara’s standard,” Patton said.

Patton also said the Sentara system emphasizes the importance of wearing a face-covering, social distancing, avoiding gatherings and taking other precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, “especially during the holidays.”

Stay with WAVY News 10 for more updates.

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