27 employees, 6 patients infected in COVID-19 outbreak at Ohio hospital

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus is investigating a COVID-19 outbreak involving 27 employees and six patients at its Ohio State East Hospital.

The 27 employees tested positive after a staff member came to work with symptoms, the medical center said in a news release. Affected employees worked on a patient care unit between Dec. 20 and Jan. 1 and represent about 2 percent of Ohio State East Hospital's 1,200-member workforce. 

Six patients who were on the unit also tested positive. The patients had tested negative at the time of admission, the medical center said.

"We take this incident very seriously. We are conducting contact tracing and testing all staff and patients who spent significant time on the unit during that timeframe," Andrew Thomas, MD, chief clinical officer at the medical center, said in a news release. "We are reviewing all infection control measures with our staff and, as always, strongly encourage vigilance in wearing masks, hand hygiene, physical distancing, monitoring for any symptoms of COVID-19 and not reporting to work when they have symptoms, no matter how mild they may seem."

The medical center said it is also offering testing to staff on the unit who are asymptomatic and reinforcing cleaning and disinfection rules. 


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