Using employee health and screening protocols currently in place to support the Department of Veterans Affairs COVID-19 response efforts, the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System has identified 11 employees who have tested positive for COVID-19.
All staff members who tested positive were immediately placed in isolation away from VASNHS’ facilities upon investigation for COVID-19, mitigating further risk of transmission to other patients and staff. Nine are receiving medical attention while under quarantine at home, while two are hospitalized and receiving care in the community. Due to privacy concerns, we cannot provide additional information on these individuals.
Employees who tested positive will not return to work until they are cleared by Employee Occupational Health.
They must meet the following requirements in order to be cleared:
- Any fever must be resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications and
- Must show improvement in any respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), and
- Must test negative on two consecutive test results for COVID 19 which are collected at a minimum of 24 hours apart or greater.
The Employee Occupational Health team is assisting in tracking employee movements within the hospital to prevent further spread of the disease. Any staff potentially exposed to COVID-19 by a
positive individual have been notified and, if asymptomatic, allowed to continue to work while wearing a facemask at all times. These individuals are being monitored by Employee Occupational Health daily for 14 days from the date of exposure and if they develop symptoms, they are removed from the workplace and immediately screened.
To minimize potential exposure or transmission of COVID-19, the community has implemented universal masking for staff within several health care facilities and VASNHS is following suit. Masks are currently being distributed to all our employees and they are expected to be worn at all times while in VASNHS facilities.
VASNHS continues to remind staff daily that if they are feeling ill (especially if they are exhibiting flu-like symptoms such as sore throat, cough, shortness of breath or fever) that they should notify their supervisor, remain home, and coordinate care immediately with their health care provider.
Per CDC guidance and VA protocols, VASNHS is screening all VA staff, Veteran patients, and visitors for COVID-19 symptoms and taking temperature readings before allowing entry to all of our health care facilities. Anyone who screens positive for symptoms of COVID-19 (i.e. fever with a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or above, cough, or shortness of breath) is isolated and escorted to a secondary screening area for an assessment.