March 25, 2020

Response to The Sacramento Bee

(SACRAMENTO)

You may have seen, or been sent, a story from The Sacramento Bee stating that a female nurse at UC Davis Medical Center has tested positive for COVID-19, and that she believes she acquired it from a patient in the Emergency Department. No female employees at our hospital have reported testing positive for COVID-19, and no patients in the Emergency Department on the dates and conditions described tested positive for COVID-19. 

Since it is possible an employee has tested positive and not reported it as directed, we are launching an investigation into this report. Any UC Davis Health employee who tests positive for COVID-19 is directed by the University to report such a test to Human Resources immediately — for the protection of patients and fellow employees.

Here is the statement UC Davis Health provided to The Bee. The Bee included only one sentence, saying we are looking into the situation, and ignoring the factual inconsistencies:

“All UC Davis Health employees have been directed to report a positive test for COVID-19 to Human Resources, so that we can take appropriate steps to evaluate potential exposure to other employees or patients. To date, no female employees have reported to HR that they tested positive for COVID-19. 

Based upon The Bee’s report, we are investigating whether any health care worker has tested positive and has not reported it to us.

We rigorously track COVID-19 infections, as the safety of both patients and providers is of utmost importance to us.  Additionally, we have very strict protocols -- including a trainer available 24/7, training videos, and picture diagrams on patients’ doors -- to show the protective equipment all providers must wear in order to treat COVID-19 patients. Finally, we have a sufficient and ready supply of personal protective equipment available for all providers who need it and we expect all health care workers to use it properly.

The Bee’s article reports the employee said they were exposed by a patient that came to the ER from a skilled nursing facility on March 15th.  We reviewed our records from March 15th and March 16th, and no patients that were treated in the ER who came from a skilled nursing facility tested positive for COVID-19. This means the health care worker quoted in The Bee could not have been exposed in the manner reported.”