An inflatable Christmas costume is now the probable cause of dozens of coronavirus infections plaguing the staff of Kaiser Permanente San Jose Emergency Department.
Inflatable Christmas Costume Possible Cuplrit of COVID-19 Outbreak
According to officials of the medical facility, 43 staff members have tested positive within the past week.
Senior Vice President and area manager of Kaiser's San Jose Medical Center, Irene Chavez, shared in her written response to the questions sent to them that a staff member did appear briefly in the emergency department on December 25 wearing an air-powered costume, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.
She also added that any exposure when it happened would have been completely innocent, and quite accidental as the said person had no symptoms of coronavirus and only sought to lift the spirits of those around them during what is a very stressful time.
According to Newsweek, Chavez also mentioned that the department also included technicians, assistants, nursing, physicians, and those who are confirmed or suspected of having a coronavirus infection will follow protocols regarding isolation.
The Senior Vice President and area manager of Kaiser's San Jose Medical Center also stated that the Emergency Department is undergoing deep cleaning while their officials are conducting contact tracing.
In addition, Chavez also shared that all of their health care workers will be offered weekly testings for coronavirus and expedited testing for anyone with symptoms or even an exposure to a person with coronavirus.
Moreover, Chavez emphasized that masks are required in all areas as they are re-configuring their processes and common spaces, such as staff break rooms, in order to put limitations on any staff gatherings.
She also mentioned that the likes of the air-powered costumes will no longer be allowed in the facility.
Chavez stated that they are currently taking steps in reinforcing safety precautions regarding their staff, which includes no gathering in break rooms, sharing of food or beverages, wearing masks of all times, and physical distancing, ABC News reported.
Despite the fact that close to 40,000 health care workers of Kaiser in Northern portion of California have received coronavrus vaccinations in order to help control the pandemic, Chavez shared that as of the moment, it is still not clear whether any of those affected by the said outbreak in their facility were among those who got vaccinated.
She mentioned that the health and safety of their patients, physicians, and employees are their highest priority and they were grateful on their nurses, employees, and physicians for their dedication in order to provide excellent and compassionate care every day.
The Emergency Department and the San Jose Medical Center will remain open as they were adding staff in place in order to cater the increasing cases of coronavirus in the Emergency room and the hospital, Chavez added.
The said outbreak is only a portion of a statewide surge in COVID-19 cases, as the intensive care capacity dipped to 5.1% in the Bay Area on Saturday.
In the county of Santa Clara, as of January 1, 682 patients were already hospitalized which more than twice the 293 patients reported a month ago.
Even ambulances in the county have been affected due to the surge of cases which caused delays in accepting process of patients.