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Las Palmas Medical Center doctor diagnosed with coronavirus

KVIA file
The Las Palmas Medical Center in El Paso.

EL PASO, Texas -- A doctor at Las Palmas Medical Center is now the first known case of a healthcare worker in El Paso to be diagnosed with the coronavirus.

“A physician who practices at Las Palmas Medical Center has been confirmed as having a positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19)," Dr. Oscar Vega, the hospital's chief medical officer, said Monday afternoon. 

He indicated the hospital and city health department are "tracing the potential exposure to patients, physicians and staff" and are contacting those who may require testing and observation.

"Unfortunately, exposure to healthcare workers is becoming more commonplace at hospitals across the country," Vega said in noting the risks that "healthcare providers on the front-lines of this pandemic" are facing.

Word of the doctor's infection came as the City of El Paso disclosed the first case involving a first-responder being infected, namely a firefighter. Officials said as many as 40 other firefighters were also quarantined.

The city said a total of 130 first-responders and healthcare providers had been tested for the virus thus far. The doctor and the firefighter are the only known individuals so far to come back positive.

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.


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