PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Some employees at Rhode Island's largest hospital group have tested positive for COVID-19, the company said.

A “small percentage” of Rhode Island’s total 124 people confirmed to have the disease work for Lifespan, spokeswoman Jane Bruno told WPRI-TV.

“It is unclear if these employees were exposed at the workplace or through travel or community transmission. None of them have been hospitalized and all either recovered or are recovering at home," Lifespan said in a written statement Tuesday.

The company did not disclose where the employees worked or in what capacity.

Lifespan operates Rhode Island, The Miriam, Hasbro Children's, Bradley and Newport hospitals and has about 15,000 employees.

An employee of the state's psychiatric hospital tested positive on Tuesday for the disease, which is caused by the coronavirus sweeping the globe, officials said.

As a result, five employees at Eleanor Slater Hospital in Cranston, including the person who tested positive, and 25 patients have been quarantined, said David Levesque, a spokesman for the state Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

The patients are all at the hospital under court order.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.



Several Rhode Island communities with a significant population of seasonal residents with second homes are asking those people to self quarantine for two weeks if they come to town.

The directives came from officials in from Westerly, Newport and Narragansett.

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