March 26, 2020 – Gainesville, Texas – A healthcare provider at Cooke County Medical Center (CCMC) was tested for the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 at a healthcare facility in Frisco, TX on Monday, March 16th. The provider self-isolated at home while waiting on the test results. On March 23rd, the provider received notice from the healthcare facility in Frisco that the test results were negative.
Based on the negative test result and being asymptomatic for COVID-19 indicators for greater than 72 hours as the Centers For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends, the provider returned to work on Tuesday, March 24th. At approximately 3pm that day, the provider received a call from a nurse at the facility in Frisco stating that a second test swab had come back positive.
The provider immediately self isolated and notified their supervisor, who informed clinic and hospital leadership. Per CDC guidelines, all patients and clinic personnel the provider had contact with fell into the Low Risk Exposure category and were appropriately contacted and advised of the recommended actions to follow.
On Wednesday, March 25th, the provider received the following message from their home county’s (not Cooke County) health department epidemiologist: “County Public Health has determined that you currently have no significant risk of spreading the 2019 novel coronavirus disease. Because your isolation period has ended, you will no longer be required to check your symptoms and you will not be required to maintain contact with County Public Health. You are under no travel restrictions, and you can engage in your normal work or school activities without any restrictions. If you work in a healthcare setting, you may provide direct patient care. You may share this letter with your employer as confirmation that you are no longer considered at risk for spreading novel coronavirus disease.”
The CCMC facility was terminally cleaned immediately. The clinic will resume normal hours on Thursday, March 26th. In addition, we will soon be adding telemedicine capabilities to further expand our service capacity for our patients.
As always, the mission of North Texas Medical Center and our affiliated clinics is to provide safe, exceptional, patient centered care. The advent of COVID-19 only reinforces our priority of protecting our patients, frontline caregivers and all other staff. We urge everyone to take precautionary steps, including: diligent hand washing, social distancing, disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces, avoiding close contact with anyone sick, and staying home during these challenging times.