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LAVALE — After Andrew Hare learned that his parents had confirmed cases of COVID-19, he was tested for the disease in mid-July and initially received negative results.

But after he showed signs of the virus days later, another test revealed he had become infected.

The “snowball effect,” which his mom recently talked of, happened after a bartender at the Cresaptown Eagles tested positive for COVID-19 in July, and the Allegany County liquor board indefinitely closed the social club.

Upon learning of the situation, Kathy Hare and her husband, who is a trustee of the organization, tested positive for the virus.

“It was horrible … listening to what I’d done to people by exposing them to something I didn’t even know I had,” she said in a recent Cumberland Times-News interview.

Her son, Andrew Hare, lives with his parents and works as a physical therapist assistant for GCR Therapy Group, which provides comprehensive outpatient physical and occupational therapy, and acupuncture. 

“I have had no patient contact or time spent at GCR since my negative test,” he said via statement from Gonzaga. “My initial test was performed on a Wednesday. I began to experience mild symptoms on a Sunday, so I was tested again the following day, and that is when I tested positive. I have been in home isolation, and neither myself nor my parents were hospitalized.” 

Rommel Gonzaga, chief executive officer of the business, said company policy typically prohibits discussion of individual employees with the media. 

“However, in this case, the employee’s mother identified her son by name and identified our office as his employment place,” he said in the statement. “Therefore, we wanted to clarify the timeline concerning Andrew’s diagnosis.” 

Gonzaga Health is comprised of medical practices in its LaVale office that include Gonzaga Family Health, GCR Therapy Group and Gonzaga Interventional Pain Management,” he said. 

“(Andrew Hare) does not work in the Gonzaga Family Health practice,” Gonzaga said. 

“Patient and employee safety will always be priority number one at Gonzaga Health,” he said. “We continue to be diligent in following (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), state, and local guidelines in all of our practices.”

Employees and medical providers answer a daily COVID-19 questionnaire to indicate if they are experiencing any symptoms, and have a recorded temperature check. 

“Of course, all staff is required to wear (personal protective equipment) while onsite, and we have added extra cleaning procedures,” Gonzaga said. “Furthermore, we have telehealth appointments available for all three practices, and we are encouraging patients to utilize this service as much as possible.”  

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