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Speare investigating COVID-19 cases

July 03, 2020
PLYMOUTH — Speare Memorial Hospital, in conjunction with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, is investigating a patient and two staff who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Late last week, Speare Memorial Hospital discovered one patient to be positive for COVID-19 after being tested for placement at a long-term care facility. This patient initially tested negative for COVID-19 at the time of admission. Following the Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC's guidance, any staff with potential exposure during the time the patient was considered to be contagious were tested. Through this testing, we recently learned that two staff members have tested positive. Out of an abundance of caution, Speare is performing additional testing of staff that may have had exposure to these two staff members, in addition to providing optional testing for all Speare employees. Staff that tested positive will not return to work until they meet the CDC criteria for return to duty. No patient exposures were identified, although some were tested as a precautionary measure.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services is conducting contact tracing to determine the scope of potential exposure in the community.

"Providing safe, quality care is our top priority at Speare, and we are committed to taking swift and necessary action," says Michelle McEwen, president and CEO at Speare Memorial Hospital. "The discovery of a positive COVID-19 patient, when unexpected, is concerning; but our team has responded to this event with utmost urgency to ensure that the risk to our staff, patients, and community is minimized."

Speare Memorial Hospital remains prepared to provide for the healthcare needs of our community and will remain vigilant with regard to our safety practices, to ensure everyone's safety and health. We thank our employees for the sacrifices they make every day and especially during this pandemic. Their perseverance, commitment, and courage deserve our deepest appreciation and respect.

Speare Memorial Hospital is a 24-hour, acute care, non-profit critical access community hospital, and health care provider serving Plymouth and the communities of Central New Hampshire. Visit online at http://www.spearehospital.com and join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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