Outbreak tied to 57 COVID-19 cases contained, Brigham and Women's says

An outbreak potentially tied to 57 COVID-19 cases at Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital has been contained, according to a hospital news release Oct. 16.

The hospital's infection control team is confident that the COVID-19 cluster, identified Sept. 22 and involving two inpatient units, has been contained, according to the release. In total, 57 COVID-19 cases have been potentially linked to the cluster, including 42 employees and 15 patients. 

As part of its outbreak response, the hospital tested all inpatients for COVID-19 every three days, in addition to testing all patients upon admission and performing daily symptom screens. 

HVAC systems were tested and affected areas were thoroughly cleaned. The hospital also contacted all staff potentially exposed and tested them, while offering testing to all staff on the main campus. 

Brigham and Women's is currently:

  • Reinforcing mask expectations with both providers and patients
  • Increasing communication about the importance of eye protection for providers interacting with patients
  • Introducing higher-quality eye protection for providers 
  • Modifying break rooms to provide additional spaces for staff to distance while eating
  • Reviewing contact tracing protocol to identify opportunities for improvement
  • Working with colleagues across the Mass General Brigham system to define future practices that will enhance environmental safety  

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