COVID-19 cluster at Brigham and Women's tops 50 cases

Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital has now reported 52 COVID-19 cases tied to an outbreak affecting two inpatient units.

As of Oct. 6, 39 employees and 13 patients have tested positive for the virus. No new patients have been infected since Sept. 30, according to the hospital.

Since Sept. 25, 7,250 employees have taken 8,544 COVID-19 tests. All current inpatients have been tested and will be tested every three days. Patients are also tested upon admission. Visitors are still allowed in some areas of the hospital.

The hospital is still investigating how the virus spread, but listed the following contributing factors:

  • Many patients weren't masked while interacting with staff
  • Providers were inconsistent in their use of eye protection during patient encounters
  • The first patient to test positive had received an aerosol-generating procedure prior to the positive test result
  • A staff member with mild symptoms, consistent with historical seasonal allergies, continued to work
  • Lack of physical distancing among staff while unmasked while eating

More articles on infection control:
Device used in cardiothoracic surgery poses infection risk, FDA warns
Nurses call for more safety measures as COVID-19 cases tied to Boston hospital cluster climb to 42
First person cured of HIV dies at 54

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