Hospital’s COVID-19 Outbreak Total 31 Cases

By By Dan Hounsell
April 14, 2021

As COVID-19 cases surge again in parts of the country, an outbreak in one prominent hospital is demonstrating all over that infection control — even in the highest-priority areas of hospitals — is an immense challenge.

Last month’s outbreak of COVID-19 that began in a patient ward at Duke Raleigh Hospital in North Carolina is blamed for a total of 31 cases, Duke University Health System said recently, according to the News & Observer.

Duke Health tracked down dozens of hospital staff, patients and visitors who might have been exposed to the coronavirus as a result of the outbreak and that the final test results came back last week. Most who tested positive were Duke employees.

The COVID-19 cases were traced to a fifth floor inpatient unit for surgical and cancer patients. The first were confirmed over the weekend of March 20 and 21. Duke had found 25 cases by the end of that week but continued contact tracing until recently.

The hospital said it did a deep clean of the fifth floor unit where the outbreak began, including the use of ultraviolet light to keep pathogens from reproducing or remaining infectious.

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