Washington hospital reports outbreak among staff

Posted at 9:35 AM, Aug 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-22 10:17:39-04

BREMERTON, Wash. — Washington state health officials say more than 30 coronavirus cases have been reported in an outbreak at a Bremerton hospital.

The Washington State Department of Health said Friday afternoon the outbreak has affected multiple units at St. Michael Medical Center, which is part of the CHI Franciscan system. Officials say the outbreak involves hospital staff and employees.

The Kitsap Public Health District and state health officials say they are working with the hospital to contain the outbreak after the first case was reported late last week.

Officials say patients discharged from the impacted units have been notified and new admissions and visitation at the hospital is currently limited.

COVID-19 Precautions

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.