Lebanon VA employees: Mistake exposed staff and patients to COVID-19

Investigations

Lebanon County, Pa.- After abc27 broke the news there was a second COVID-19 case identified at the Lebanon VA Medical Center the station was contacted by 2 Lebanon VA Medical Center employees.

Those employees said a mistake led to staff and patients being exposed to the infected patient.

According to the employees, who have asked not to be identified for fear of losing their jobs, the patient was in a COVID-19 isolation unit at the Lebanon VA Medical Center and was then moved to a medical-surgical floor at the Lebanon VA before the results of their COVID-19 test came back.

After being on the medical-surgical floor for several days, with approximately 14 other patients, that patient’s COVID-19 test came back positive.

According to sources, some of the staff that took care of the COVID-19 positive patient were sent home to self-isolate. However, abc27 news is told that not all staff who came in contact with the patient have been told to self-quarantine.

A request for an interview with the Lebanon VA Medical Center Director and the hospital Chief of Staff to discuss this reported incident and operations at the facility related to COVID-19 was denied.

abc27 also submitted several questions to the Lebanon Va Medical Center and National Va office. Those questions were not answered.

In a statement issued to abc27 the Lebanon VA acknowledged a veteran tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 26, 2020 at the Lebanon VA Medical Center. It went on to say:

“The risk of transmission to other patients and staff is now low, as the facility was able to discharge the Veteran home based on clinical status with instructions for home isolation and self-care in accordance Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. All individuals who were in contact with the Veteran have been notified and were placed on self-quarantine. Due to privacy concerns, we cannot provide additional information.”

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health it does not investigate federal medical facilities.

It is not clear if the VA is conducting its own internal review.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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