Sufferers check constructive for coronavirus in Kaiser San Jose Christmas outbreak

An outbreak of the novel coronavirus amongst workers at Kaiser’s San Jose Medical Middle has now unfold to sufferers, 15 of whom examined constructive, the Santa Clara County Public Well being Division mentioned Wednesday. The variety of workers members contaminated has additionally grown since final week from 60 to 77. One workers member has died of COVID-19 problems.

Kaiser spokeswoman Hilary Costa disputed a few of the county’s case rely, saying 74 workers who labored within the emergency division on Christmas Day examined constructive. Three instances might embrace workers not concerned in that outbreak, Costa mentioned.

Kaiser doesn’t dispute the county’s affected person rely.

The outbreak is believed to be linked to an worker who went to the hospital on Dec. 25 in an inflatable Christmas tree costume. Specialists beforehand said it’s attainable the costume’s battery-powered fan may have unfold aerosols into the emergency room.

Santa Clara public well being officers beforehand fined the hospital $43,000 for failing to report an preliminary 43 workers instances to the county in a well timed method. The penalty levied for every violation is $1,000, the county mentioned.

Employers are required to report positive coronavirus cases to the county public health department inside 4 hours of discovering out an worker has examined constructive. Regardless of affirming in October it will adjust to the reporting necessities, Kaiser failed to take action, the county advised The Instances in a press release.

“The County was not knowledgeable of the instances till they have been confirmed in a press assertion issued by Kaiser Permanente” on Jan. three, a county spokesman mentioned.

Costa mentioned the suggestion Kaiser is “something aside from forthcoming with our reporting is inaccurate,” including that the corporate is reviewing the quotation and would reply to Santa Clara well being officers by Friday.

Costa declined to say if the asymptomatic staffer carrying the Christmas costume visited elsewhere within the hospital, as Kaiser’s “investigation is presently centered on” the emergency division on Christmas Day.

The San Jose facility was fined $85,000 final November by Cal/OSHA for seven violations together with for failing “to research publicity incidents the place workers have been uncovered to confirmed or suspected instances of COVID-19,” state information show. Kaiser additionally didn’t “notify workers who had vital exposures to COVID-19 instances and suspect instances” nor did it “present post-exposure medical providers to these workers,” based on state information.

Kaiser disputes these citations and plans to file an enchantment, Costa mentioned.

A separate Kaiser medical middle in Antioch was fined $56,000 late final yr by Cal/OSHA for 4 violations, together with for failing to instantly report back to the state a minimum of two workers who have been hospitalized because of COVID-19, based on company records. Costa mentioned the citations stem from allegations early within the pandemic, some with regard to private protecting gear steerage that “has developed as we grappled with nationwide shortages.”

Santa Clara officers mentioned the outbreak in Kaiser’s San Jose facility doesn’t contain the extra contagious pressure of coronavirus from the UK. Public well being officers are probing if the U.Ok. pressure is in L.A. County.