14 infected, 1 dead in COVID-19 outbreak at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center

1 Coronavirus
Copyright 4 News Now

SEATTLE, Wash. — The surgical floor of Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center is currently dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak.

Officials at the hospital said there are 10 staff members who have been diagnosed with the virus and are currently isolating. Four patients have been infected while hospitalized for other reasons. One patient, who had known pre-existing conditions, passed away.

Dr. John Lynch, an infectious disease expert, said the hospital first learned a patient was infected at the end of September. At the same time, it was discovered that employees in the same unit had also contracted the virus.

“It has been very clear that this virus spreads among patients and staff because of gaps in adherence to the precautions that we know are very effective,” Lynch said.

The unit was closed to new patients in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus and the hospital discovered that one other infected patient, as well as 30 other staff members, were potentially exposed. Those people are currently isolating.

Lynch said the hospital still does not know the source of the outbreak.