45 COVID-19 cases linked to outbreak at Washington hospital

A COVID-19 outbreak at St. Michael Medical Center in Bremerton, Wash., is linked to confirmed cases for at least 30 staff members and 15 patients, according to the Kitsap Sun. 

The confirmed case count linked to the hospital is expected to grow as it continues testing staff and patients.

When the Kitsap Public Health District was notified Aug. 4 that a hospital employee had tested positive for COVID-19, health district investigators did not find close contacts from that case identified at the hospital. The following week, the health district linked five COVID-19 cases to the initial case, and on Aug. 14, the health district declared an outbreak at the hospital. 

"I think this is just an example of how insidious and tricky and difficult to recognize this virus is," said Kitsap Health Officer Gib Morrow, MD. 

The outbreak has affected three hospital units, CHI Franciscan CMO Michael Anderson, MD, told the Kitsap Sun. Patients who had been discharged from those units have been notified, and the hospital is not admitting new patients to the affected units. Patients already admitted will continue to be evaluated. 

The 260-bed St. Michael Medical Center is part of Englewood, Colo.-based CHI Franciscan.

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