Statement from Madeline Bell, President and CEO, on COVID-19 Exposure at King of Prussia Specialty Care Center
Philadelphia, PA — March 10, 2020 — At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, our highest priority is the safety of our patients, families and the staff who care for them at our hospital and across our network. We have many policies in place that are designed to keep our patients and staff safe. Immediately, upon notification of the physician’s confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis on the evening of Sunday March 8, CHOP began to coordinate response efforts and notify impacted staff in the overnight hours, closed the affected units and, by 8 am on Monday, began to notify patients who came into direct contact with the physician. As of 4 pm on Monday, March 9, all families had been notified and, as of this morning, the units involved have been thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and reopened. Yesterday, we remained intently focused on the well-being of our patients, families and staff who may have been affected.
As we gathered additional information about this situation, we learned that this physician traveled abroad to a country with known COVID-19 cases, but not on the Level 3 travel advisory list as designated by the CDC. After returning to work, the physician saw patients over 4 days during the week of March 1, when progressive symptoms resulted in the physician ultimately seeking medical attention.
In total, the physician cared for approximately two dozen patients directly and came into contact with 17 staff members. We have provided instruction to all potentially exposed individuals to self-quarantine in accordance with CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines. Staff and patient families who become symptomatic have been advised to obtain testing from the PA DOH.
As healthcare providers, we are committed to doing our very best to ensure the safety of all with whom we work and who are entrusted to our care. This situation is a humbling reminder of the diligence we all must demonstrate when monitoring our own health and that of those around us. We are keeping this physician in our thoughts as we remain in close contact with state and local health departments to keep the community updated.