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More than 50 hospital staff off work due to Covid-19

King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

More than 50 hospital staff were off work this weekend after testing positive for Covid-19 or coming into close contact with positive cases.

A Bermuda Hospitals Board said 53 people were affected out of 1,800 staff, adding: “Most positive staff cases are from community exposures originally, but this results in close contacts within BHB.”

She said staff and patient confidentiality precluded revealing further details.

Her comments came after the online news site TNN reported on Friday that hospital staff were “extremely concerned” after a spate of positive cases.

She said: “We hope the media will also help protect healthcare workers and patients who may be unfairly and even inaccurately seen as being infected by not reporting department or individual details, when writing about suspected cases.

“The people who need to know of a potential positive case exposure whether from a staff or visitor are informed: these are patients and staff who are identified as close contacts, or the family of long-term care residents who are identified as close contacts; the infection prevention specialists and employee health staff who implement required precautions, and the Department of Health.”

Mask wearing remains mandatory in all BHB facilities for staff and visitors.

Visitors are required to mask “even when with their loved ones in patient rooms as well as in public areas”, the spokeswoman said.

“The current Omicron variants result in many people having asymptomatic infections, so they might not know they are positive.

“Some individuals may also feel Omicron is less severe so are more lax, but for vulnerable patients even the Omicron variant can be life-threatening.”

She said BHB staff were held to “stringent, internationally agreed standards” including wearing personal protective equipment in close patient encounters, twice-weekly testing and daily testing for people with Covid-like symptoms, or are close contacts or returning from travel.

“We also follow all government requirements as it relates to quarantine and isolation following a positive result or potential exposure.”

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Published April 25, 2022 at 8:01 am (Updated April 25, 2022 at 8:01 am)

More than 50 hospital staff off work due to Covid-19

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