Health District investigating 4 CHI Franciscan employees with COVID-19

Cases came from 2 Kitsap facilities and are not related to initial St. Michael outbreak

CHI Franciscan and the Kitsap Public Health District are investigating two separate and small COVID-19 outbreaks at two Kitsap medical facilities, totaling four confirmed virus cases so far.

One of the outbreaks involves two employees from the Franciscan Medical Group Cardiothoracic clinic in Bremerton who tested positive while the other involves two employees being investigated at St. Michael Medical Center. Neither is associated with the initial outbreak at St. Michael from August, according to a CHI Franciscan news release.

Regarding the cardiothoracic clinic outbreak, two employees tested positive after interacting with a patient who entered the clinic for testing before a scheduled procedure. The patient tested positive, and the employees were tested as a result. Ongoing contact tracing and investigation is under way.

As a precaution, all clinic employees were notified and are being tested, in addition to other employees who may have been in contact with the positive employees. Any patients who were in contact with the positive employees during the three-day infectious period are being notified with information on how they can be tested, according to the release.

Additionally, contact tracing is under way at St. Michael.

“Even as we strictly follow public health and [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] CDC guidelines, health care facilities and providers are not immune to COVID-19. Our focus is on doing everything we can to mitigate the risks to patients and employees and acting swiftly to prevent any further spread if cases are confirmed,” said Cary Evans, vice president for Communications and Government Affairs, CHI Franciscan. “This global pandemic requires the vigilance of everyone in the community. Please help all of our health care workers by wearing a mask, keeping a safe distance, washing hands and staying home when sick.”