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Three members of UPMC’s Hillman Cancer Center team test positive for COVID-19

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the virus that causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. Excitement about treating the new coronavirus with malaria drugs is raising hopes, but the evidence that they may help is thin. (NIAID-RML via AP)

STEUBENVILLE — UPMC has confirmed three members of the medical oncology team at its Hillman Cancer Center, part of the Tony Teramana Cancer Center at Trinity Health Systems, have tested positive for COVID-19.

UPMC Media Relations Manager Cynthia Patton confirmed the infection and issued a brief statement Sunday evening but declined further comment — including the ages of the persons who have been infected or the role they played at the center.

“To protect the well-being of our staff, patients and the community, our center is temporarily closed while all the staff are in self-isolation,” UPMC’s statement said. “We are following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and working with local public health authorities to identify and contact individuals who may have been exposed.”

• Trinity has closed the radiation oncology side of the cancer center until Tuesday so that a thorough cleaning can be done. Patients will be contacted by phone to reschedule their appointments.

• The medical oncology center has been closed temporarily. To fill the treatment void, UPMC says patients can meet with their care providers via “telemedicine virtual care” when appropriate, and those whose therapy cannot be postponed will be “relocated.” When clinically appropriate, visits will be rescheduled.

“We are working every day to meet the new challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic presents, collaborating closely with Jefferson County health officials,” the release stated. “Our patients’ and employees’ health and safety are our top priority.”

UPMC said it is working closely with the Jefferson County General Health Department to protect the public health. For more information, call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH, or visit www.cornonavirus.odh.gov.

Jefferson County 911 Center Director Rob Herrington declined comment, referring questions to the health department.

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