BOSTON (CBS) – Employees at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have sounded the alarm. The facility has a COVID-19 cluster of more than 40 positive cases. Now, a patient in a different part of the hospital has tested positive.
Brigham nurse Kerry Noonan says the virus “is clearly coming back with force in the hospital as well as in the community.”
Noonan also told WBZ-TV, “The hospital stepped up and did a universal testing for everyone. One time. Unfortunately, we know as soon as the test is done, and you walk out the building and go back into the community or you go back home, you could very well come in contact with it again.”
The I-Team obtained a document sent to hospital leadership, signed by hundreds of concerned nurses and residents, urging the facility to do more testing to keep everyone safe.
Noonan says the hospital needs to continue to test routinely, or randomly, people in the building who are providing direct case, and he says those people should have “N95s and face shields.”
“I don’t know why we still have visitors,” Noonan said. “We need to restrict access to essential personnel only.”
The hospital said in a statement that it is “committed to creating and maintaining a safe care environment,” and along with other safety measures, is testing high-risk staff members and in-patients every three days. They will also test all patients when admitted and will conduct daily screenings for symptoms.
As for Noonan, he says the hospital is a “safer environment,” but believes people who work there and the patients should be “99.9 percent safe.”
“We need to just stop the foolishness and keep our guard up, because it is here. It has not gone away,” Noonan said.
The hospital says with testing, it is likely there will be more positive cases connected to the cluster. So far, researchers have not identified the source of the infection. At this point, doctors do not believe the new case is related to the others.