Three LHC employees test positive for COVID

Sam Klomhaus — Enterprise Staff Writer
Monday, July 27, 2020

Three Livingston HealthCare employees have tested positive for COVID-19, hospital and county health officials confirmed Monday.

All three are now in quarantine, according to a Friday press release from the Park County COVID-19 Response Team, and no additional cases among LHC patients and staff have been identified.

Livingston HealthCare CEO Deb Anczak said in a statement to LHC employees one employee contracted COVID-19 outside the LHC facility, and two more working in close proximity with that person then tested positive.

According to the release, contact tracing has been initiated and additional tests administered after the first employee tested positive.

“In response Livingston HealthCare will also heighten its screening of staff and patients and continue visitor restrictions,” Anczak said in her statement.

The tests were processed as high-priority cases by the Montana public health lab in Helena, according to the release.

“I commend Livingston HealthCare for its rapid response and for its transparency,” Park County Health Officer Dr. Laurel Desnick said in the release. “We will be working together to ensure ongoing safety in our healthcare system.”

Desnick declined to comment beyond what she said in the release.

Park County currently has seven active COVID-19 cases, according to the state of Montana. Desnick said Friday in a video update the county is testing people with COVID-19 symptoms, close contacts of known cases and surveillance testing employees at front line tourism businesses.

Park County will resume testing asymptomatic people when the state ramps up its testing capacity, Desnick said in the video.

Of Park County’s 40 total confirmed cases, 16 were people in their 20s.

“We have really appreciated the proactive stance of businesses who have closed or limited services in order to stop the spread of COVID to their employees and the public,” Desnick said in the video. “We have also been very encouraged by the number of people wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. Steps like these are how we all make a difference.”