Sanford Health takes more safety precautions as three employees test positive for COVID-19

A total of four Sanford employees have tested positive for the virus

FARGO, N.D. — The Coronavirus is beginning to impact healthcare workers who continue to help patients through the pandemic here in Fargo.

Sanford officials confirm that three physical therapists have tested positive for COVID-19.

Two had been working at the main Sanford Medical Center and the other at Sanford Broadway Medical Center.

“Healthcare workers are at risk of contracting this, so that’s why we diligently work with the personal protective equipment for that,” says Sanford Chief Medical Officer Dr. Douglas Griffin.

That equipment includes face masks, which all Sanford physical therapists have been required to wear when working with patients since Friday.

Seven patients have been notified they may have been exposed.

The three therapists who tested positive are now isolating at home, and Sanford officials say they’re urging all staff to continue taking precautionary steps like monitoring for symptoms, social distancing, and completing virtual visits when possible.

“Clinics or sites have virtually gone to all video visits, except for those visits that are necessary, so we do have to have patients come in for many things.”

One of those things is physical therapy, which Dr. Griffin says could mean a world of a difference for patients in pain.

“The people that are ill deteriorate in their muscle strength and their abilities to perform their activities of daily living, so this is quite critical for their care, it’s necessary care for them.”

He says as doctors, nurses and other staff continue caring for patients, it’s important they do their due diligence.

“We’ve cautioned all of our staff to make sure they are doing the appropriate things both when they’re at work and not at work to minimize their chance of getting it. Unfortunately, we can’t make that chance zero for anybody at this time.”

A total of four Sanford employees have tested positive for the virus.

The other employee is a provider at Eventide, who is also in quarantine.

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus-ND, Health, Local News, North Dakota News