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UPDATE: Methodist ER doc tests positive for COVID-19; all affected patients contacted, hospital says

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Emergency room stock photo

Emergency room stock photo

A Methodist Hospitals emergency room doctor tested positive for COVID-19, the Northwest Indiana hospital system has confirmed.

The physician last worked at the hospital system between March 14 and March 16 and has tested positive for the coronavirus, a hospital statement noted Friday night. However, the hospital has not clarified whether the doctor last worked at the Merrillville or Gary campus.

The doctor was wearing personal protective equipment while interacting with patients during the recent shifts, and the hospital believes the doctor contracted the virus outside of the hospital setting, according to a release from a hospital spokeswoman.

The physician is now in isolation.

Hospital co-workers of the physician who were on duty during the recent shifts have been notified, have been wearing protective equipment and have been regularly screened for symptoms, according to the hospital.

"Any and all patients who were or would've been impacted were contacted," said hospital spokeswoman Evelyn Morrison. 

The Indiana State Department of Health has notified and is advising people involved.

"The safety and well-being of patients and employees is the number one priority of Methodist Hospitals," a news release issued by Morrison states. "We follow all guidelines for the use of PPE as well as best practices for infection control. We recognize that our staff are on the front lines of this public health emergency, and we are doing everything in our power to support them as they provide compassionate care in the most difficult circumstances."

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