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Hospital COVID-19 outbreak remains under investigation

January 5, 2021 GMT

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — A top health official said Monday he doesn’t know how a COVID-19 outbreak spread to 30 patients and employees at a Vancouver hospital.

The cause of the December outbreak at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center remains under investigation, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. But Dr. Lawrence Neville, chief medical center for PeaceHealth Columbia Network, said the hospital’s COVID-19 cluster can be traced to one patient who initially tested negative only to test positive days later.

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The hospital became aware Dec. 27 of the positive test for that patient. Neville said all hospital patients were tested and the outbreak was isolated to one unit.

As of Monday, 56 healthcare workers remained quarantined because of 11 confirmed cases among staffers.

PeaceHealth said it submitted samples Monday to determine if the COVID-19 is a mutated form of the virus, which has been found in several states and prompted the United Kingdom to issue new restrictions.

Neville said the infected patients and workers are “doing well,” and that he wasn’t aware of any being admitted to the ICU as of Sunday.