11 Kaiser Oakland Medical Center employees test positive for COVID-19 after attending wedding

Eleven employees at Kaiser Permanente Oakland (Calif.) Medical Center tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a wedding Nov. 27 in Wisconsin, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

In a Dec. 8 statement shared with Becker's, Kaiser said the employees are fully vaccinated and have received booster shots.

"These staff members' exposure to COVID-19 happened at a wedding out of state, not through their work at the medical center," the statement reads. "They are isolated at home with mild symptoms as reported by Alameda County, which is consistent with the reported severity experienced by other people who are vaccinated and contracted this illness."

Kaiser said the health system identified an initial case of COVID-19 among staff at the Oakland Medical Center on Nov. 30, three days after the wedding, then quickly notified the Alameda County Public Health Department and worked to minimize staff and patient exposure.

On Dec. 3, the Alameda County Public Health Department announced 12 COVID-19 cases, most of which were of the omicron variant, with additional test results pending. Eleven of those cases were confirmed to be Oakland Medical Center staff members. Public health officials said the ages of the 11 workers range from 18 to 49, and one of the wedding attendees had returned from Nigeria on Nov. 24, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

"Working closely with the Alameda County Public Health department, we quickly identified any potential exposures among patients and other staff, contacted them and provided expedited testing," Kaiser's statement reads. "The potential window of exposure at our facility was brief and isolated, as the few affected staff members, who are in patient-facing roles, worked briefly prior to being symptomatic or tested and all adhered to COVID-19 infection prevention guidance while in the facility. We have identified eight patients and eight staff who were potentially exposed; 13 have tested negative for COVID-19 and the remainder are in process. To date, there have been no COVID-19 cases among them."

Kaiser added that affected staff were isolated at home after they developed symptoms or received a positive test.

The health system also said any employee or physician confirmed to have or suspected of having the virus due to symptoms will not come to work.

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