Dozens of hospital workers, patients quarantined after 5 confirmed COVID-19 cases at UCSF Medical Center

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- UCSF Medical Center is trying to determine how COVID-19 recently spread to five people at one of its units, prompting more than 40 additional employees and patients to be quarantined over the past week.

"We have not yet determined the original source or exact sequence of these infections," UCSF said in a statement. "However, we have isolated these patients and employees, and are working to identify, test and quarantine other individuals who may have been exposed to them, or who have symptoms."

UCSF tells ABC7 News its investigation started when two patients who were sharing a room and three employees who cared for them tested positive for the virus.

Those three health care workers are experiencing mild symptoms.

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The hospital says the two patients who tested positive do not have symptoms and had negative COVID-19 tests before being admitted.

"One unexpectedly tested positive on a routine discharge test. This launched an investigation and contact tracing effort that identified the other cases," added UCSF in a statement.

In addition to the original five who tested positive, UCSF says 28 employees and 15 patients are quarantined as a precaution.

"None so far has tested positive," said UCSF spokeswoman Kristen Bole. "The final one of those will be tested today."

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UCSF says it has notified the California and San Francisco departments of public health and are working with them to address this situation.

"There is currently no evidence of spread to additional patients or staff on this unit or others," said UCSF.

UCSF instituted a mandatory mask wearing policy for both patients and healthcare providers for its facilities on March 29.

UCSF issued the following statement:

"UCSF Medical Center has identified five cases of COVID-19 in one of its units that may have been the result of transmission within the hospital.

Over the past week, two patients who were sharing a room and three employees who cared for them have tested positive for COVID-19. Both patients had negative COVID-19 tests before being admitted to the hospital; one unexpectedly tested positive on a routine discharge test. This launched an investigation and contact tracing effort that identified the other cases.

We have not yet determined the original source or exact sequence of these infections. However, we have isolated these patients and employees, and are working to identify, test and quarantine other individuals who may have been exposed to them, or who have symptoms.

At this time, neither patient has symptoms of COVID-19 and the employees have only mild symptoms. There is currently no evidence of spread to additional patients or staff on this unit or others. We have notified the California and San Francisco departments of public health and are working with them to address this situation.

Throughout the pandemic, UCSF Health has been at the forefront of protecting patient and employee safety through policies such as the Universal Surgical Mask Policy and daily employee screenings at all of our clinical sites.

Our investigation has confirmed high compliance among our health care providers with our universal masking policy and we remain highly committed to ensuring compliance with all policies regarding safe hospital practices."




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