4 South Shore Medical Center employees to stay home after patient tests presumptive positive for coronavirus

NORWELL — Four employees of South Shore Health have been ordered to stay home for two weeks after a patient who went to urgent care in Norwell tested presumptive positive for COVID-19, the healthcare provider announced Thursday night.

The patient sought treatment at South Shore Medical Center in Norwell at the end of February, South Shore Health said in a statement.

“Test results have been sent to the CDC for confirmation,” the statement said.

The state Department of Public Health instructed four South Shore Health employees who were in immediate contact with the patient to stay home for two weeks, the healthcare provider said.

When asked on which day the patient went to the Norwell location, a South Shore Health spokesperson declined comment.

South Shore Health’s statement continued:

It is important to note that the action taken today is a measure of precaution by recommendation of DPH and does not mean these employees will contract the virus. As always, the safety of our staff, patients and families remains our highest priority.

The healthcare provider said it remains committed to updating employees and the community on coronavirus.

“We see many patients who have travelled and are seeking treatment for flu-like symptoms, including fever, respiratory illness, body aches and the like,” South Shore Health said. “We encourage patients to contact their primary care provider if they have flu-like symptoms and/or a recent history of travel to countries identified by the government as having widespread coronavirus outbreak.”

News of the Norwell presumptive positive case broke shortly after the biotechnology firm Biogen announced that three of its employees who attended a meeting in Boston have tested positive for COVID-19.

The three people do not live in Massachusetts, according to Biogen. Two are from Europe, and the third employee is from outside Massachusetts.

“At the present time, these individuals are doing well, improving and under the care of their healthcare providers,” Biogen said in a statement.

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State public health officials stress that the risk to the public from coronavirus remains low in Massachusetts.

Still, some school districts are closing doors to disinfect classrooms and school buildings.

Plymouth announced all schools in the town will be closed on Friday, after a 17-year-old Plymouth North High School student was hospitalized with flu-like symptoms.

MORE: CDC broadens federal guidelines for coronavirus testing