Seven staff members at the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center and six health care workers at Signature Healthcare have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Friday.
BROCKTON — More than a dozen local health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus battle have tested positive for the disease.
Seven staff members at the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center and six health care workers at Signature Healthcare, including Brockton Hospital and all of its Signature Medical Group offices, have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Friday.
The VA Boston Healthcare System has had at least one nurse test positive at its Brockton campus.
The other hospital in the city, Good Samaritan Medical Center, declined to provide any information about whether any health care workers have even been tested for the coronavirus.
“Steward Health Care is not releasing statistics on test results,” said spokeswoman Lynn Cornelius.
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At the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, 92 staff members have been tested, but seven of them have been confirmed to have the coronavirus. That’s about 1 percent of the health center’s 600-plus employees. The health center said about half of its workforce is still reporting to work due to serving essential functions that can’t be done remotely.
“Our top priority is to keep staff safe and we are working hard to maintain a safe environment, and are following state-recommended guidelines on monitoring our staff, use of protective equipment, testing for COVID-19, proper distancing and quarantine,” said Sue Joss, the longtime CEO of the downtown health center.
Joss said the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center still has shortages in some of its personal protective equipment, with the greatest need being disposable gowns, goggles, face masks and surgical masks.
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“As far as PPE, we still have shortages but a variety of organizations have stepped up to share what they have,” she said. “We are grateful to Stonehill College for its donation of gloves, Brockton Area Transit Authority for wipes, Harvard University for surgical masks, an anonymous donor of surgical and N95 masks, the Brockton Rotary for procedural masks, and to our board member and children of staff who are making cloth masks.”
As the health center continues to see more people affected by the coronavirus and fewer patients for other reasons, the adult-care clinic at 158 Pleasant St., next to the Vicente’s Supermarket, will be closed as of Monday. The 63 Main St. location will also have reduced hours beginning the same day.
The Brockton Neighborhood Health Center will also, as of Monday, begin using a tent that was set up in its Main Street parking lot this week. Any patients who are symptomatic will first be screened at canopies beside the tent and then specimens of anyone who meets the qualifications to be tested will be collected inside the tent and sent to the state lab. If anyone needs further care, the health center is still operating a COVID-19 clinic inside the building in place of its urgent care center.
The health center asks that anyone planning to seek care call first, particularly if they believe they have symptoms or have been exposed to the coronavirus. People are asked to call 508-559-6699.
Anyone with potential donations or sources of such personal protective equipment can email the health center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Signature Healthcare is also seeking equipment, including N95 masks, surgical masks, hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, goggles, gowns, temporal thermometers and batteries and lithium batteries. The company is also accepting handmade and sewn masks.
Donations can be dropped off at the School of Nursing, at 53 Adams St. in Brockton, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you have questions about donating supplies to Signature Healthcare, email email@example.com or call 508-941-6262.
Senior reporter Cody Shepard can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on Twitter at @cshepard_ENT.