Minnie Hamilton Health System CEO Steve Whited is releasing public information regarding an employee who tested positive for COVID 19.

"Although we did not encourage or require the employee to write this letter, the employee (Dr. Richard Cain) felt compelled to provide details in hopes of reassuring patients and community members that by following the communicated guidelines, our risks of spreading this virus can be minimized," said Whited.

"We all need to be reminded that we are truly in this together, and the precautions and actions that we are all taking are working. I commend the employee for writing this letter, and I hope that all community members recognize the courage and selflessness it took to write this," Whited concluded.

04/24/2020 To All Reside. of Communities Serviced by MHHS, This letter is to address some of the rumors circulating in the community. The facts are:

I was the employee of MHHS that tested positive for COVID 19 on 4/17/2020; the results were reported on 4-19-2020. I live in Wood County.

The last day I worked or was in Calhoun County was 4/10/2020. People at work and in the community can vouch that I was wearing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) during all interactions that occurred between mid-March and 04/10/2020. People that I was in contact with that week have already tested negative for COVID-19. Per MHHS protocols, I have checked my temperature every 4 hours while at work and did not have an elevated temperature.

I was sick with another Illness on 4/14/2020, that is known to cause a fever, which I did have once on 4/14/2020 and once on 4/15/2020. I was treated with antibiotics for a bacterial infection, verified by lab testing, which responded appropriately to treatment. I called in sick to work and did not work any of the days during week of April 14.

Due to having a fever, my physician and the administration at MHHS felt it would be good to check for COVID before I returned to work, since I have patients on the Long Term Care unit. To my surprise, it was positive. Other than a fever, I have had no other symptoms, and the fever could have been from the bacterial infection.

While I appreciate the offers of prayer, I feel fine, and would encourage you to pray for all the health care providers and sick patients.

I have met with the Health Department and it is thought that by CDC guidelines, the earliest I may have been positive is 4/12/2020, well after my last visit to Calhoun, and if I continue to do well I can be released from .1f-quarantine 04/25/2020. The Health Department is reaching out to my at risk contacts. In the meantime, I am able to still talk with any of my patients via tele-visit from my home and look forward to returning to the office after all MHHS return-to-work protocols have been met and satisfied.

So in summary people are more at risk to get COVID the way I got it, in the community from an unknown source. You are at risk to give it to other people up to 2 days before symptoms, if you have them. So please wear your PPE, wash your hands, practice social distancing, stay home from work if you are ill, and call your healthcare provider if you have questions.

Sincerely, Richard E Cain MD