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Friday, December 1, 2023
Dec. 1, 2023

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COVID-19 outbreak sickens patients, staff at PeaceHealth

By , Columbian Editor

An outbreak of COVID-19 traced to a patient floor at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center has sickened at least 10 patients and four employees in the last few days, according to hospital and public health officials.

The hospital has isolated the floor, restricted new patient admissions to that floor, and begun testing the remaining patients there for COVID-19, officials said Sunday afternoon.

All of the patients were in the hospital for other medical reasons when they contracted COVID-19, according to Clark County Public Health.

Of the 14 total COVID-positive cases, only five are fully vaccinated. Further, only the unvaccinated patients are showing symptoms of the disease, according to a news release.

None of the 14 COVID-19 patients have had to be put on ventilators or moved to intensive care as a result of the virus, and none have died, officials said.

PeaceHealth and Clark County Public Health have submitted test samples to the state Department of Health to see if the outbreak is related to the delta variant of the disease, which is particularly likely to be transmitted from person to person.

“I have full confidence in our highly qualified health care professionals to manage through this recent incident. We have been treating COVID-19 patients for more than 16 months and have cared for more than 1,000,” said Dr. Lawrence Neville, PeaceHealth Southwest’s chief medical officer.

“Our infection prevention specialists immediately began conducting a thorough review to understand the root causes of this situation, and to ensure further protection for our patients and caregivers.”

“While COVID-19 activity has decreased in Clark County in recent weeks, the virus is still circulating and we still have a large portion of our community that is unvaccinated,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director.

“The COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at preventing infection, but they’re not perfect. A small number of people who are fully vaccinated may still get COVID-19, but early evidence shows the vaccines make that illness less severe.”

PeaceHealth and Clark County Public Health continue to investigate the cases.e

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