76ºF

Employee with coronavirus speaks on Carilion’s response to recent outbreak

24 environmental services employees tested positive for COVID-19

ROANOKE, Va. – An employee among the two dozen Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital environmental services staff who tested positive is speaking out with concerns over the institution’s response.

The employee asked WSLS 10 News not to disclose their identity.

The allegation is that coronavirus response policies and procedures are in place but are not being followed 100% by everyone on board.

“The EVS department – Environmental Services – definitely could have done more. They could have taken us more seriously when we said we were sick and had symptoms. I do feel that. I feel they could have done more by just sending us home and telling us to go get tested. Something different than go back to work," stated the employee.

Carilion officials told 10 News they “take these issues seriously" and in the instance that policy and procedure are not being followed, “they work hard to correct the behavior.”

Daily, employees go through a screening that helped flag this outbreak. There are other measures in place to limit the spread as well.

No patients were ever at risk/exposed, according to hospital officials.

The employee fell ill nearly two weeks ago and they remain out of work with symptoms.

While the issue is less with the hospital and more with team management, the employee says they hope the hospital will further investigate and adjust actions to protect staff and others. “I think Carilion did a great job with that, but still we just don’t know where it came from. We just don’t know,” questioned the employee.

Here is the full statement from Carilion officials:

Our top priority is patient and employee safety, and we investigate and address reported concerns immediately. Our protocols successfully identified this outbreak, allowing us to actively mitigate the spread. Through our extensive contact tracing, no patients were impacted. We continue to monitor this event and work closely with employees to ensure a safe return to work.

For your background, we actively encourage Carilion employees to use our multiple avenues to anonymously report concerns so we can take prompt action. We take issues related to social distancing and masking very seriously – those two actions, along with maintaining good hand hygiene, are the most effective ways to keep people safe during this pandemic. Reducing the impact of Covid-19 is a shared responsibility. If we learn of instances when our policies and procedures aren’t followed, we engage with the individuals involved, correct the behavior or the circumstances and provide training to avoid similar situations from occurring.

We place occupancy limits for common areas in our facilities and include additional signage outlining new processes and procedures should employees gather. The goal is to ensure employees can keep a distance of six feet or more whenever they are around their colleagues in common areas. In addition, our employees are required to wear masks when in the company of others.

Lastly, we have multiple checks and balances in place to help protect our workforce:

Carilion Clinic

About the Author: