Montana State Hospital employee tests positive for COVID-19

Posted at 2:27 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 18:08:24-04

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services says an employee of the Montana State Hospital has tested positive for the novel corornavirus.

DPHHS says hospital staff and the individual are working with the Anaconda-Deer Lodge Co. Health Department to conduct contact tracing and investigate the case. It is believed the employee contracted COVID-19 through a family member.

According to a release, "additional preventive safety measures were initially put in place in March and have been revised as needed in accordance with modifications to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for healthcare facilities in response to COVID-19 in preparation for positive cases at MSH."

The release adds that the individual who tested positive does not provide direct care to hospital patients, but does have limited contact patients and staff and was required to wear a mask when in contact with patients.

Currently, no other staff or patients at the Montana State Hospital have tested positive for the virus. Those that have had contact with individual will be tested.

The state says the employee who tested positive has been in self-quarantine since Thursday.

DPHHS says the hospital does have designated areas where patients can be isolated if they show symptoms of COVID-19 or other illnesses.

The Montana State Hospital is located in Warm Springs, west of Butte. The hospital provides inpatient psychiatric treatment for adults with severe mental illness and is the only public psychiatric hospital in the state.

Visitation is currently suspended due, in part, to concerns over COVID-19.