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COVID outbreak: San Jose Kaiser hospital now linked to 60 cases

Coronavirus

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – Santa Clara County public health announced today that the coronavirus outbreak linked to Kaiser San Jose Emergency Department has led to more positive cases.

There are now a total of 60 confirmed cases from the outbreak, according to Kaiser Permanente.

The hospital released the following statement:

The health and safety of our patients, employees, and physicians is our highest priority. To date, we have determined 60 staff members out of those present in the Kaiser Permanente San Jose Emergency Department on Dec. 25 have tested positive for COVID-19. Working with our infectious disease specialists, we are continuing to investigate the outbreak to determine the potential causes and using contact tracing to personally notify and test anyone exposed, based on CDC and public health guidelines. Given the prevalence of COVID-19 in our communities, it is often difficult to pinpoint the specific exposure leading to COVID-19 infection.

Karl Sonkin
Kaiser Permanente Northern California

One Kaiser Permanente employee died of COVID-19 after the outbreak apparently caused by an air-powered costume.

Health officials released the following statement, “This is a stark reminder that COVID-19 can be so easily transmitted through the air and that even letting your guard down for a moment can have consequences.”

The hospital has taken extra precautions in deep cleaning and disinfecting the Emergency Department.

“In addition, we implement regular rigorous cleaning, masks, symptom screening and temperature checks at the ED entrance; triage and appropriate isolation of anyone suspected with COVID-19; and ensure social distancing with precautions such as plexiglass cubes for patients in the waiting area,” Sonkin states in the press release.

All 70 patients who were being treated in the ER on Christmas have been contacted. COVID-19 tests have been made available to those patients.

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