Springdale, SC (Paul Kirby) – The management of Lexington Medical Center decided to close its Lexington Family Practice West Columbia this week after some of the practice’s employees were reported to have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. No specific number was given but the staff has grown tremendously since it started decades ago. It first was located on Pine Street at West Dunbar Road near South Congaree. At that time, it had just two doctors and their support staff. It’s now in Springdale off Platt Springs Road and has grown and been added on to several times.
Patients began reporting this week that they tried to make appointments with their regular doctor or nurse practitioner but were unable to do so. When they did reach someone by telephone, they were told any appointment they had would be rescheduled.
Jennifer Wilson, speaking on behalf of the Lexington Medical Center, said Wednesday that as the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has reported, Lexington County has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases over the past week. Some of those reported cases were in staff members at Lexington Family Practice West Columbia. Wilson continued by saying, “Out of an abundance of caution, Lexington Medical Center has made the decision to temporarily close the practice and complete a deep cleaning.” Ms. Wilson gave no exact date for the practice’s reopening.
Several people contacted The Lexington Ledger and voiced theIr concerns not for themselves, rather for the staff of the practice. One caller said, “I’ve been going to see Dr. Greg Konduras since I was in my late 20s or early 30’s and I am getting close to 60 now. We’ve sort of been growing old together. He and R.C. know me about as well as my family does. When I walk in, the front desk staff called me by name and I didn’t even have to sign in, they said they had me before I could make it to the counter. They’re just wonderful, caring people and I hope they’re alright.” Another said, “Dr. Hicks has been my doctor since I was about ten. My adoptive parents went there, and they started taking me right after I began living with them. Almost my entire life, Dr. Hick’s has been with me as my wife and I got together, as our five boys were born, and through everything in between. If he were to get sick, I can’t even imagine having to see another doctor, I just wouldn’t feel comfortable.” At no point will LMS be able to report who on their staff has contracted the virus. That information is protected by Federal Privacy Laws.
Just because someone is carrying the virus, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are or will become severely sick. According to the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov an asymptomatic carrier is someone who has contracted the virus, but who isn't showing any symptoms of the disease. The disease is most often spread by microscopic particles in the air. These come from a carrier coughing, sneezing, or other similar actions.
Lexington Medical Center wants to remind community members to continue following CDC guidelines on COVID-19. Those include wearing masks, using hand sanitizer, and washing your hands thoroughly.