34 MUSC Health employees have tested positive for COVID-19

Updated: Mar. 30, 2020 at 7:51 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The spread of COVID-19 is continuing to impact health care workers internationally, including right here in the Lowcountry.

Representatives of MUSC Health announced that as of Monday, 34 members of the health care system’s workforce in the Charleston area have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

In addition, there have been five MUSC Health patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.

"We support our team member's rights to privacy and protection of health information and will not confirm or deny name, role or any other identifying information related to COVID-19 positive cases for our workforce," hospital officials wrote in a statement. "We have internal notification and tracing protocols in place to contact those patients who may have been at high-risk for exposure from a health care provider."

Meanwhile, close to 3,500 patients have now been seen at MUSC Health’s specimen collection site near the Citadel Mall in West Ashley, with 169 of these individuals testing positive for the virus.

According to health officials, the 169 who tested positive includes outpatients.

MUSC Health also revealed Monday that it is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Guard to "plan a MASH-style care facility on campus," which could add roughly 270 beds for novel coronavirus patients who do not need "critical care."

Nearly 130 additional beds could come to a possible ICU space in the Ashley River Tower while the former Children's Hospital could also be used to care for COVID-19 patients, according to MUSC Health.

The health care system says that it has an “adequate” amount of ventilators at the moment, but is asking for community members who have supplies such as N95 masks and thermometers to donate them at MUSC’s North Charleston warehouse. Additional information about donations can be found here.

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