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Update: Two healthcare workers at KHSC test positive for COVID-19

Kingston General Hospital, a KHSC site. Photo by Lucas Mulder.

Update (Friday, Nov. 27, 2020): Today, Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) confirmed another case of COVID-19 amongst its staff.

KHSC referred to the cases as “community-acquired transmission,” and said that both healthcare workers are from Kingston General Hospital (KGH) and are recovering at home while self-isolating.

“Four other staff members are off work on self-quarantine with careful monitoring as higher risk contacts and five more are on work isolation with as a precaution,” KHSC said in a press release on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020.

“Evidence indicates that this was not a work-acquired infection.”

KHSC also said that, due to “rigorous universal masking, physical distancing and infection control practices” in place, “hospital-related exposures to the positive staff members remain low risk.”

““We have stringent COVID-19 protocols in place for all of our employees and assure the public that our facilities remain safe places to receive care,” said Dr. Gerald Evans, Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control. “As the largest employer in the city and given the recent rise in community prevalence, we are not surprised about positive cases emerging among staff members. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and respond swiftly.”

KHSC’s Occupational Health, Safety and Wellness and Infection Prevention and Control teams have been working with Public Health to conduct the appropriate contact tracing related to the positive cases. According to KHSC, that work is almost complete.

“We are in regular contact with all impacted staff members and wish those who tested positive quick recoveries,” said Sandra Carlton, joint Vice-President and Chief Human Resources Officer. “At KHSC, we’re proud of the very strong teamwork that makes keeping patients and staff safe our top priority at all times.”

Original article:

An employee who works in the Emergency Department at Kingston General Hospital has tested positive for COVID-19.

Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) said they confirmed the case today, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020, and that, so far, evidence indicates that this was not a work-acquired infection.

“KHSC is now working to determine if there is any potential risk to patients and staff. Due to rigorous universal masking, physical distancing and infection control practices at KHSC, exposures to the positive staff member are likely low-risk in nature. The hospital remains a safe place to receive care,” KHSC said in a press release.

According to KHSC, the staff member is at home recovering in self-isolation. The KHSC Occupational Health, Safety and Wellness, and Infection Prevention and Control teams are conducting contract tracing related to the positive case.

“We’re not surprised about this development given the rise of community prevalence of COVID-19 in the South East. Our staff are members of the community, so it only makes sense to expect cases,” said Dr. Gerald Evans, Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control for KHSC, in a statement.

“We will continue to monitor this situation closely and to respond swiftly as required.”

KHSC is asking the community for patience as they carry out the case tracing as “quickly and thoroughly as possible.”

“We wish our staff member a safe, speedy recovery,” said Sandra Carlton, joint Vice-President and Chief Human Resources Officer. “At KHSC, we’re proud of the strong teamwork that makes the safety of patients and staff our top priority at all times.”

While KHSC did not disclose which hospital the employee works at and has indicated they will not be releasing further information about this case today, Kingstonist has confirmed with other KHSC employees that the employee works at KGH and last worked Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.

We will update this article as more information becomes available.

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