BOONE — A Boone-based Samaritan’s Purse staff member who had recently traveled overseas has tested presumptive positive for the COVID-19 virus (coronavirus), according to a press release from the organization.
This individual returned nine days ago from countries considered to be at lower risk at the time of travel. The employee did not return to work and self-quarantined immediately upon return home, as the staff member experienced some mild symptoms, according to the release.
The employee was tested at their home by AppHealthCare (the Watauga County Health Department), the release stated. Samaritan's Purse noted that it is "working in full cooperation with the local health department in identifying other staff who may have been in contact with the employee who has tested positive" and "though we can’t know for sure whether their contact was prior to or after the virus was contracted, each of these employees has also self-quarantined," the release added.
Samaritan’s Purse added that it is also reducing the number of staff on the Boone headquarters and Wilkes campuses and moving many employees to a work-from-home status for at least the next two weeks.
"We continue to pray for our nation, for those infected with this serious virus, for healthcare providers nationwide, and for our nation’s leaders as they address this pandemic," the release stated.