Nurses call for more safety measures as COVID-19 cases tied to Boston hospital cluster climb to 42

Nurses at Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital are calling for more safety measures as a COVID-19 cluster tied to the hospital climbs from 19 to at least 42 cases, according to NBC10 Boston.

More than 3,000 Brigham and Women's Hospital nurses joined the call for improved safety measures, according to the Massachusetts Nurses Association. Trish Powers, RN, chair of the Brigham MNA Bargaining Unit, said the hospital's "lax compliance with COVID-19 safety protections" is making it difficult for nurses to provide safe patient care. 

"Unfortunately, hospital executives have not always listened to our expertise and have created an environment where policies around visitors, masking and social distancing are either not being followed or are not strong enough," Ms. Powers said in a Sept. 28 statement.

"To date, 488 employees connected to the cluster have been tested with 30 testing positive," Brigham and Women's said in a statement cited by NBC10 Boston. "All current inpatients are being tested for COVID-19, and this will be repeated every three days. This is in addition to the current hospital policy which requires testing for all patients upon admission and daily screening for symptoms. We have tested 581 patients across all inpatient areas, and 12 have tested positive. These 12 had been previously identified as connected to the cluster."

The hospital is still investigating how the cluster occurred. Hospital officials believe the cluster is contained to two of its medical-surgical units. The affected area was thoroughly cleaned and admissions were halted to the two units, according to the hospital website.

"The Brigham is committed to creating and maintaining a safe care environment by testing all patients admitted to the hospital, requiring staff to attest to their health daily before working, requiring all staff, patients and visitors to wear hospital-issued masks while on campus, insisting on frequent hand hygiene, frequently cleaning the environment, and enforcing appropriate physical distancing," the hospital said.

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Nurses at Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital are calling for more safety measures as a COVID-19 cluster tied to the hospital climbs from 19 to at least 42 cases, according to the Boston Herald.

More than 3,000 Brigham and Women's Hospital nurses joined the call for improved safety measures, according to the Massachusetts Nurses Association. Trish Powers, RN, chair of the Brigham MNA Bargaining Unit, said the hospital's "lax compliance with COVID-19 safety protections" is making it difficult for nurses to provide safe patient care.

"Unfortunately, hospital executives have not always listened to our expertise and have created an environment where policies around visitors, masking and social distancing are either not being followed or are not strong enough," Ms. Powers said in a statement cited by the Boston Herald.

"To date, 488 employees connected to the cluster have been tested with 30 testing positive," Brigham and Women's said in a statement cited by NBC10 Boston. "All current inpatients are being tested for COVID-19, and this will be repeated every three days. This is in addition to the current hospital policy which requires testing for all patients upon admission and daily screening for symptoms. We have tested 581 patients across all inpatient areas, and 12 have tested positive. These 12 had been previously identified as connected to the cluster."

The hospital is still investigating how the cluster occurred. Hospital officials believe the cluster is contained to two of its medical-surgical units. The affected area was thoroughly cleaned and admissions were halted to the two units, according to the hospital website.

"The Brigham is committed to creating and maintaining a safe care environment by testing all patients admitted to the hospital, requiring staff to attest to their health daily before working, requiring all staff, patients and visitors to wear hospital-issued masks while on campus, insisting on frequent hand hygiene, frequently cleaning the environment, and enforcing appropriate physical distancing," the hospital said.

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