Four Staff Members at Seattle (WA) Medical Center Test Positive for COVID-19

According to a report from The Seattle Times, four staff members who “work in or near” the operating rooms at Virginia Mason Medical Center have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past week.

Medical Center spokesperson Gale Robinette said that each staff member who tested positive was treated and will quarantine at home for at least two weeks, per Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

After three employees tested positive for the virus within the past week, surveillance testing of more than 650 other staff members discovered one other employee who tested positive. Robinette did not respond to questions about how many patients those staff members contacted or whether those patients would be notified and tested.

A spokesman for Public Health–Seattle & King County was unaware of these COVID-19 cases at Virginia Mason on Sunday morning. Hospitals are responsible for determining the type of personal protective equipment (PPE) employees use in clinical situations, using guidelines from the CDC and the Washington State Department of Health.

The CDC recommends health care workers wearing face masks even when caring for patients not suspected of having COVID-19 and Robinette said Virginia Mason follows CDC guidelines on PPE.

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