St. Luke’s employee tests positive for COVID-19

Published 7:40 pm Thursday, April 30, 2020

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An employee at one of St. Luke’s locations has tested positive for COVID-19. Following an investigation, Polk County Health and Human Services Agency and St. Luke’s have determined this resulted from a known contact with a positive individual outside of Polk County and did not occur at St. Luke’s. Appropriate steps are in place to manage this situation and protect patients and staff at St. Luke’s locations.


The employee was quarantined immediately after the exposure was known and later tested positive. Polk County Health and Human Services is aware of the situation and is working with

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St. Luke’s to take additional appropriate measures. In order to protect the privacy of all involved, additional details cannot be shared.


“Because of community spread in our area, we have anticipated and planned for such an event to present itself. Our team was well-prepared and followed all Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention (CDC) protocols,” said CEO Michelle Fortune. “At this time, no additional staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. Of course, safety is our top priority for patients and staff, so we will continue to monitor this situation. We have made it a point of emphasis to our teammates to follow all of the CDC guidelines to avoid illness during this time. Safety measures remain in place, teammates continue to wear personal protective equipment, and at this time, the risk factors are at a low level.”


St. Luke’s employs approximately 300 individuals including medical, administrative and support staff. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the enterprise has activated their decontamination team to monitor and develop a response plan; adopted CDC guidelines and protocols for all teammates; placed screening stations at facility entrances; provided detailed information, education and training to all care teams with the proper protocol and response measures should they come into contact with a potential COVID-19 individual; carried out patient scenario drills; regularly coordinated with local agencies; secured additional personal protective equipment; and met daily with statewide healthcare systems to refine and improve methods of care as new data is received.