LVHN employee is first case of coronavirus in Bethlehem

Written by on March 16, 2020

LVHN employee is first case of coronavirus in Bethlehem

Bu Jen Rehill

March 16, 2020

Screenshot of Mayor Bob Donchez’s virtual announcement of the first case of COVID-19 in Bethlehem.

Bethlehem has its first confirmed case of the coronavirus. It’s the second case in the Lehigh Valley, after a Northampton County person tested positive last week.

WLVR’s Jen Rehill reports the individual lives in the city and works for the Lehigh Valley Health Network

In a statement, LVHN said an employee at the / Lehigh Valley Hospital –17th Street practice / had tested positive for COVID-19. The statement also confirmed that this was the same new case announced Sunday by state officials and the city of Bethlehem

Mayor Robert Donchez addressed the case via video posted on Twitter

“The city of Bethlehem is well-prepared to manage our role during this public health crisis. We are taking action and keeping the community informed during this public health pandemic,” said Donchez.

Bethlehem Health Director Kristin Wenrich also appeared in the video, and encouraged residents to act now to help slow the spread of the virus.

“Community strategies include suspending large gatherings, avoiding travel to recreational activities like gyms, movie theaters and shopping malls, telecommuting to work, utilizing telemedicine capabilities and social distancing,” said Wenrich.

LVHN said that patients and colleagues who may have been exposed to the virus have been informed and advised to self-quarantine. 

The Bethlehem health department is conducting an investigation and identifying individuals who are close contacts of that indivual. All close contacts will be quarantined and closely monitored for 14 days,” said Wenrich.

LVHN said the employee experienced symptoms at work on March 3rd, 4th and 9th, but has not been back to work since the 9th.

Wenrich encouraged residents to act now to help slow the spread of the virus by practicing social distancing, working from home when possible, and skipping recreational activities like gyms, malls and movie theaters.  

To date, there are 63 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania.

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