This week, Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center said in statements to The Washington Post and other media outlets that a staffer wore a costume, which included a fan that could have helped spread infected droplets through the air. The costume was worn in the emergency department on Christmas Day. and those infections were reported between Dec. 27 and Jan. 1.
Kaiser also reported Sunday that an employee working in the emergency department on Christmas Day has died from COVID-19 complications.
“Using our infection proven protocols, we are investigating the outbreak and using contact tracing to personally notify and test any staff or patients who were exposed,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
This is extremely alarming because it would seem that employees would be wise to anything that would put coworkers and patients at risk for further infection. Negligence may play a role.
As expected, the hospital says it will no longer allow air-powered costumes. Some of those infected had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Kaiser said, adding that it takes time to build up immunity. A response that may not suffice for those put at risk.
“Obviously this is a highly unusual situation involving a well-intentioned staff member acting on their own without advance notice or approval,” said Irene Chavez, the hospital’s senior vice president and area manager. “Any exposure, if it occurred, would have been completely innocent, and quite accidental, as the individual had no COVID symptoms.”
Obviously, numbers are increasing daily and we will keep you all posted as vaccines are distributed and info is made available.