25 infected in COVID-19 outbreaks at 2 Virginia Mason Franciscan Health hospitals

About two dozen staff members and patients have tested positive for COVID-19 at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health this month. 

Thirteen staff members at Silverdale, Wash.-based St. Michael Medical Center have tested positive, the system said Aug. 26. The outbreak involves staff members who worked in the hospital's emergency department between Aug. 1 and Aug. 19.

Five patients and seven staff members also tested positive at St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood, Wash., the system said Aug. 20. 

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, which is based in the greater Seattle area, said it is working with local health departments to investigate the situations. 

"We continue to implement extremely high safety standards across all our facilities, including screening and surveillance testing, universal masking, and sanitation and personal protective equipment protocols," the health system said in a statement on its website. "However, as COVID-19 continues to spread in our communities, primarily due to the increased transmissibility of the delta variant, it impacts our hospital operations and the safety of our patients and healthcare workers."

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health also said it plans to require COVID-19 vaccines for all employees if they have not been vaccinated yet. 

Editor's note: This article was updated Aug. 31 at 11:10 a.m. CT. 


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