Investigators believe COVID-19 cases at Belfast hospital acquired via community transmission, no shared links

Wed, 08/11/2021 - 12:15pm

    BELFAST — Waldo County General Hospital believes the cases of COVID-19 at the medical facility share no links, and were acquired via the community. Furthermore, some of the staff who tested positive were already vaccinated, adding them to the stated’s list of breakthrough cases.

    “Our internal detailed contact tracing to date indicates that the employee cases we have identified since July 26 do not share a common link,” said WCGH, in an Aug. 11 news release. “In most, if not all, of the cases, a likely exposure outside of work has been identified. In other words, these cases primarily reflect transmission in the community rather than on our campus.  In addition, we have not identified any evidence of spread of COVID-19 from an employee to a patient.”

    The hospital is following, “state and federal guidelines pertaining to positive COVID-19 test results, including the testing of care team members and patients,” the release said. “All other established safety measures—including universal masking, screening of those entering the hospital and increased hand hygiene—will continue.”

    As of August 4, 2021 79.1% of Waldo County General Hospital colleagues had received their vaccinations. 

    “Although we have confirmed that several of our colleagues included in this investigation outbreak are fully vaccinated, unvaccinated employees have been disproportionally affected,” the release said. “These infections are a reminder that COVID-19 remains a threat to our community. WCGH encourages everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated.”

    The release ended: “Throughout the pandemic, WCGH has been closely following CDC guidelines, providing all required personal protective equipment and adhering to all recommended procedures for safeguarding patients and care team members. WCGH will continue to take all recommended precautions to keep both patients and care team members safe.”