Fourteen people test positive for virus; five asymptomatic
PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center officials shared details Monday about the recent outbreak of COVID-19 at their hospital. Dr. Lawrence Neville, chief medical officer provided details, with further information provided by Dr. Alan Melnick of Clark County Public Health. The total number of people identified is 14 — 10 patients and four healthcare workers.
The outbreak appears to be limited to the second floor (a medical floor) at PeaceHealth’s Mother Theresa building. None of the 14 are in the Intensive Care Unit at this time.
“I have full confidence in our highly qualified health care professionals to manage through this recent incident. We have been treating COVID-19 patients for more than 16 months and have cared for more than 1,000,” Neville said on Sunday. “Our Infection Prevention specialists immediately began conducting a thorough review to understand the root causes of this situation, and to ensure further protection for our patients and caregivers.”
The hospital tests patients upon admission, with follow up testing on the 5th day, and then every seven days thereafter. The first patient was identified on July 10, with another individual identified on July 11.
There are three possibilities for how the patents got the virus.
- One option is the patient had just contracted the COVID virus prior to admission but didn’t have a large enough viral load to test positive upon admission. The subsequent test identified the virus.
- They may also have gotten the virus in the hospital from another patient or visitor.
- They may have contracted the virus from a healthcare worker who brought it into the hospital.
Hospital officials believe the patient tested negative on admission and it was the subsequent test that identified them as COVID-19 positive. They do not know if any of the 14 identified have the Delta variant or not, as they are awaiting further test results.
The hospital has identified and notified 44 patients who may have been exposed, due to their being in the hospital at the time. None of those 44 is experiencing any symptoms. The hospital is doing follow up monitoring and testing of these people.
PeaceHealth temporarily stopped allowing visitors as a precaution. New admissions to that specific ward were also halted.
Dr. Lawrence reported that five of the 14 individuals who tested positive are asymptomatic.
The hospital does not have a mandatory vaccination policy for its employees. Of the four workers who tested positive, two were unvaccinated, one was partially vaccinated, and one was fully vaccinated.
Roughly 75 percent of the hospital’s employees are vaccinated according to Lawrence.
Dr. Melnick shared that 62 percent of Clark County residents are vaccinated, with 56 percent fully vaccinated. He emphasized the importance of the vaccination in reducing transmission of the virus.