A medical staff member of Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital has tested positive for COVID-19, as confirmed in a statement released by Faith O’Niel, customer development and marketing consultant with Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital Tuesday morning.

The provider is currently in isolation at home, according to the statement.

The hospital is working with the Virginia Department of Health to communicate with any persons who may have had contact with the provider.

“We are assessing potential exposures to our staff and are taking the appropriate precautions to test if necessary. We are doing all we can to prevent further spread by using best practices and protective equipment to keep our employees, physicians and the community safe. We are unable to provide additional specifics due to federal privacy laws,” the statement reads.

“We understand that this news is unsettling. It is also an opportunity to take appropriate personal measures to prevent further spread.  We are asking the communities we serve to observe the latest guidance from the CDC and the Commonwealth of Virginia to stay at home if possible, maintain social distancing and monitor your health daily.”

Sentara has a system task force led by senior clinicians and executives monitoring this rapidly evolving issue every day. They are providing the latest CDC guidance to their clinical teams and communities.

“We are following our infection prevention protocols to ensure everyone’s safety,” the statement continues.

The Virginia Department of Health reported 290 cases across the state at noon Tuesday.

“We are grateful for our team members’ commitment and personal courage as they provide care to those infected by COVID-19. We are prepared to treat all patients who need care for COVID-19.  If you don’t feel well and feel the need for care, please review the following criteria from the CDC and start the process with a call to your health care provider.”

If you have a respiratory illness that includes a fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath and you meet travel or exposure criteria for COVID-19:

• Call your healthcare provider to determine the safest screening method for you. If you are a Sentara patient, this may include a video visit.

• Consider a virtual visit to determine if you need further screening or testing. Many insurance plans, including Optima Health, will cover the member cost of testing for COVID-19. Options include Sentara Video Visits or MDLIVE.

• If you have a respiratory illness that includes a fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath and you meet travel or exposure criteria for COVID-19, and you do not have a primary care physician, cannot participate in a virtual visit or a visit has recommended further screening or testing for COVID-19, visit your local emergency department. Please call in advance so that infection prevention precautions may be taken to protect you, other patients, visitors and employees.