Number Of Patients, Infected Health Care Workers Up


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The number of infected staff members at Oregon Health & Science University crept up again on Wednesday, as did the number of COVID-19 patients being treated at OHSU Hospital.

An internal note Wednesday showed that 19 staff members have been infected with the novel coronavirus, compared with 12 announced on Monday. The hospital has expanded testing, and as results come in, more infections pop up. More than 1,000 staff have been tested, and over 900 were clear. Less than 100 tests are pending.

Other hospital systems also have infected staff: There are eight at Legacy Health and 10 at Providence Health & Services. Kaiser Permanente did not release the number. None of the hospital systems has identified the job titles but sources told The Lund Report that at least some of those infected at OHSU are health care providers.

The number of COVID-19 patients at OHSU Hospital now stands at 38, compared with 25 on Monday. An OHSU provider who spoke on the condition of anonymity who treats COVID-19 patients said the numbers are lower than many had expected. Among the patients that OHSU has treated, one has died and eight were discharged.

Another 22 patients are being treated at Legacy Health hospitals in Oregon and Southwest Washington, and 40 are in various Providence Health & Services facilities, according to a report by The Oregonian/OregonLive. Kaiser Permanente told The Lund Report it has six patients at its Sunnyside location in Clackamas and 10 at its Hillsboro hospital, Westside Medical Center.

The latest projections for Oregon show cases peaking on May 6. On that date, if the model holds, Oregon will need 1,097 beds, 163 intensive care beds and 131 ventilators, well below the current capacity. 

On Monday, following a demand by nurses and other staff, OHSU adopted a "masks-on" policy. That means that all staff that come into contact with patients -- whether those patients are known to have COVID-19 or not -- have to wear masks. That ruling has reassured some OHSU employees who told The Lund Report they were worried about getting sick and bringing the virus home to their families. Some masks -- such as high-protection N95 masks -- are being reused. Even staff members who work directly with COVID-19 patients are only issued one N95 mask a day. They're intended for one-time use.

The hospital also is limiting the use of face shields that encompass the face to providers involved in a procedure with a high risk of infection to staff because of a short supply.

You can reach Lynne Terry at [email protected] or on Twitter @LynnePDX.

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