4 St. Charles caregivers in Prineville test positive for COVID

Four caregivers at St. Charles in Prineville have tested positive for COVID-19, part of what Crook County health officials say is a concerning jump in cases among workplaces.

“At this time, we believe there is minimal risk to our patients due to policies and procedures already in place, including door screening, plexiglass dividers and use of masks and other kinds of personal protective equipment,” said Iman Simmons, St. Charles chief operating officer and one of two incident commanders of the health system’s COVID-19 response. “Our hospital is a safe place and we don’t want anyone to delay their care.”

No other details were released on the cases at St. Charles.

In a press release on Saturday, Crook County health officials said there has been an increase in the number of cases reported in workplace environments.

“Whether this is from someone commuting from another county to work here or if it is brought into the workplace through community spread, we must continue to practice safety in all areas of our life,” said Vicky Ryan, Crook County’s public information officer.

Ryan said cases in Crook County have increased in the last two weeks. On July 18th, the county had reported 22 cases; Saturday that number had jumped to 43.

“This is a concern because an increase in cases means that the community is still very vulnerable and may be getting a little too relaxed with wearing face coverings and the level of contact in social and work environments,” she said in a release. “The Crook County Health Department, through its investigative process, has determined that the increase in cases is largely due to a combination of social interactions and workplace exposures.”

Ryan reminded residents to wear masks, maintain social distancing and avoid large groups if at all possible.

“These next few months will be difficult, and it will take a lot of work to continue to follow the guidance for keeping ourselves and our community safe,” she said. “It is understood that everyone is ready to get back to daily lives, but this may not happen for quite some time as cases continue to increase in Crook County and across the state.”

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