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QEH: Two staff members test positive for COVID-19


QEH: Two staff members test positive for COVID-19
Queen Elizabeth Hospital. (FILE)

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Management of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) has confirmed that on Tuesday, July 20, two members of its Laundry Department tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

“Following the first positive result, the Ministry of Health and Wellness immediately commenced a contact tracing exercise and alerted the hospital’s Infection Prevention and Control Department which began an internal investigation, revealing 36 primary and secondary contacts from the Department linked to the individual.

“To protect staff and patients, the QEH immediately activated its staff exposure to COVID-19 protocol, which required the quarantine and testing of laundry personnel with whom the affected individual was in contact. On Tuesday, July 20, 20 staff members were tested and from these, one primary contact tested positive for COVID-19,” a statement from QEH said..

The statement said the remaining 16 contacts were tested on Wednesday, July 21, and all received negative results. All secondary contacts tested negative, and were allowed to return to work on Thursday, July 22, whilst the primary contacts have been placed into a Government-operated quarantine facility. These individuals will be retested on Friday, July 23 and allowed to leave quarantine and return to work if they obtain a second negative COVID-19 PCR test result.

Relief workers have been engaged to ensure the department remains adequately staffed. Additionally, a deep clean of the work area and communal spaces used by the individuals has also been conducted, according to the QEH.

On Thursday, laundry staff underwent refresher training with the hospital’s Infection Prevention and Control Department “to re-sensitise staff to best practices for curbing the spread of COVID-19 at home, in lunch rooms, in social spaces, and whilst carpooling”.

Meanwhile, QEH Communications Specialist, Lyn-Marie Deane said that “76 per cent of the laundry’s staff are fully vaccinated, whilst another three per cent are awaiting their second dose” of a coronavirus COVID-19 vaccination.

Deane said that based on the department’s strong vaccination record and its adherence to the hospital’s COVID-19 protocols, the Laundry Department had set a stellar example.

“The board, management and staff of the QEH will continue to make every effort to keep staff fully trained and equipped to protect themselves and keep patients safe, as new waves of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to affect the world,” Deane said. (PR)