Kitsap Public Health District and the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) are working with St. Michael Medical Center in Bremerton (previously known as Harrison Hospital) to contain an outbreak of COVID-19 at the hospital.
As of Friday afternoon, more than 30 cases of COVID-19 had been reported among hospital employees and patients. The first case linked to the outbreak was reported late last week. The outbreak has affected multiple units at the hospital. Patients who were discharged from the impacted units have been notified.
“St. Michael provides vital services to our community and we are taking this situation extremely seriously,” Kitsap Public Health District Health Officer Dr. Gib Morrow said. “Our team has worked closely with the hospital to notify people who may have been exposed and prevent additional illnesses. We are also coordinating with the Department of Health to provide guidance and support to the hospital. We appreciate St. Michael’s quick action and ongoing cooperation.”
Along with local public health staff, who lead investigations into cases and outbreaks of COVID-19, infection control specialists from DOH will provide technical assistance and support the hospital response. Public health and the hospital have also consulted with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Public health authorities are recommending several mitigation measures, including ongoing COVID-19 testing for staff and patients, robust screening for staff, and limiting non-essential access to the facility. The hospital will post updates on its website.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, it’s critical that everyone continues to stay home when possible and have fewer, shorter and safer interactions with others. That means keeping physical distance and wearing face coverings.