A state health official says the workers are not sick but are being kept at home for 14 days as a precaution

Multiple health care workers who came into contact with a patient who was treated for coronavirus at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota have been quarantined, according to a state health official.


The workers are not sick but have been isolated as a precaution said G. Steve Huard, the public information officer for the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County.


Asked how many Doctors Hospital workers — or doctors who work at the hospital but are not employed there — have been quarantined, Huard said in an email that “we identified multiple health care workers at several locations all who had contact with the case have been quarantined.”


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Huard added that the workers are not sick.


“However, our public health protective process requires contacts to be isolated (for 14 days after their known contact) so that if they become ill we can take appropriate action without causing additional exposures,” Huard wrote. “If after the 14 day period they remain healthy, they are allowed to return to work and normal activities.”


It is still unclear how many people may have been exposed to coronavirus by the Doctors Hospital patient.


Huard did not say how many workers had been quarantined and a statement put out by Doctors Hospital Wednesday also did not mention numbers.


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Doctors Hospital Chief Operating Officer Robert Meade said in a statement that once the hospital received the positive test for coronavirus on Saturday “that night, the team immediately notified individuals who may have been in contact with the patient and furloughed employees, in accordance with guidelines provided by the state department of health.”


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Information about the quarantines has dribbled out from various sources, but no comprehensive numbers have been released by state officials or Doctors Hospital.


A Sarasota Military Academy student and his mother were quarantined after the mother came into contact with the Doctors Hospital patient in her “professional roles,” according SMA’s Facebook page.


And Sarasota Memorial Hospital put out a press release Wednesday stating that the doctor who diagnosed the coronavirus case - Dr. Manuel Gordillo with Infectious Disease Associates of Sarasota - is in quarantine.


Dr. Gordillo has been at home since Saturday night. The medical director for Sarasota Memorial’s infection prevention and control team, Gordillo “was asked to evaluate a patient at Doctor’s Hospital who later tested positive for COVID-19,” according to the SMH press release.


RELATED: Coronavirus: Florida officials waited 24 hours to inform public of cases


“Dr. Gordillo received official notice of his quarantine status from the (federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) on Tuesday,” the release states. “but has been self-quarantined as a precaution since receiving news last weekend that the patient’s preliminary test came back positive.”


Huard said there have been multiple meetings and calls between state health officials, CDC experts and Doctors Hospital officials to coordinate the response to the coronavirus case, one of the first two identified in Florida.


“Our Disease Intervention Division staff has been working with the hospital Infection Control Department since we were notified of the potential case to ensure they had all current case CDC protocol’s and current guidance for medical providers from the CDC,” Huard wrote.


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Meade’s statement says the hospital is “resuming elective procedures” and admitting new patients and the emergency room is open.


“We are terminally cleaning the entire hospital continuously by using anti-microbial disinfectant on every surface in the hospital, both clinical and public spaces,” Meade said.


This story originally published to heraldtribune.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the new Gannett Media network.