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Hospital staffer and patient positive for coronavirus

Michael Richmond, the chief executive and president of the Bermuda Hospitals Board (File photograph)

An outbreak of coronavirus infections in the long term care unit at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital is under investigation after another patient and staff member tested positive.

Michael Richmond, the chief executive and president of the Bermuda Hospitals Board, said yesterday the new cases followed “two patients who tested positive last week”.

Dr Richmond said contact tracing was finished but the cause of the outbreak was still being probed.

A senior who died in the hospital on Saturday was the island’s tenth Covid-19-related fatality.

BHB said the ward where the patient died could not be identified because of patient confidentiality.

A spokeswoman added that 13 employees in different areas of the BHB had tested positive for the coronavirus over the past month.

She said seven of the cases were classed as “community acquired”.

Three more are under investigation, and three were hospital transmissions from the community cases.

Dr Richmond said all staff and patients on the long term unit would get tested again before isolation precautions were lifted.

He added: “We are also continuing with ongoing surveillance testing, which is a regular programme of testing that is being carried out in long term care areas for staff and patients.

“My thoughts remain with those who are unwell, and also for the BHB staff who continue to ensure care continues and patients are kept safe.”

Dr Richmond said some families had kept in touch with their loved ones in long term care using phone and video, as normal visits were not permitted.

He said he and staff members “did our best to make the units festive” and patients had a Christmas dinner.

Dr Richmond said that outside of the long term care areas, there were “regular“ patients in hospital for the illness.

He added the hospital staff had risen to the occasion and remained on high alert.

Dr Richmond said: “They have ensured we have been able to respond and that we remain prepared should numbers of people needing care for Covid-19 continue to rise.”

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Published December 30, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated December 29, 2020 at 8:01 pm)

Hospital staffer and patient positive for coronavirus

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