12 staffers infected in COVID-19 outbreak at Colorado hospital

A dozen staff members at Durango, Colo.-based Mercy Regional Medical Center have tested positive for COVID-19, The Durango Herald reported Aug. 16.

The hospital first confirmed the outbreak late last week, according to San Juan Basin Public Health, the city's local health department. The department said it is working with Mercy Regional to investigate the outbreak.

"The case count may change if the ongoing outbreak investigation leads to new information," department spokesperson Chandler Griffin told The Durango Herald.

The 12 positive cases were detected among employees working across the entire hospital and its clinics, Mercy CMO Christopher Hudson, MD, said in an emailed statement to Becker's. Some cases invovled operating room staff members, Dr. Hudson said, which spurred the hospital to suspend nonemergent surgeries from Aug. 10-13. Some routine appointments at the hospital's cardiology clinic were also rescheduled last week. 

"We are pleased to report the operating room and cardiology clinic at Mercy Hospital are returning to a normal schedule this week and are now seeing scheduled patients, as well as those in need of emergency services," Mercy Regional spokesperson Lindsay Radford told The Durango Herald Aug. 16.

The hospital requires mask-wearing at all times, screens medical staff for COVID-19 symptoms daily and has asked employees who are at risk of exposure or demonstrating symptoms to quarantine, Dr. Hudson said. 

More than 80 percent of Mercy's 1,100 employees have been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Dr. Hudson.


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