COVID-19 outbreak sickens 5 at Virginia Mason Medical Center

Four employees and a patient at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle have tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, officials said.

The infections have been connected to someone who visited the patient. The visitor tested positive after being at the hospital, said Gale Robinette, Virginia Mason’s spokesperson and media relations manager.

The four employees and the patient have been quarantined, and every patient and employee who works on that floor has been tested, with no new infections discovered, Robinette said.

“We are continuing our surveillance efforts and working closely with Public Health – Seattle & King County,” he said.

Kate Cole, a spokesperson for Public Health – Seattle & King County, said the agency is working with Virginia Mason and that the five infections “meets our definition for a healthcare setting outbreak.”

An outbreak can be declared at a hospital if two or more linked cases occur within a two-week period.

Robinette wouldn’t say when the infected person visited the hospital, when the patient and employees tested positive, whether employees throughout the hospital are being tested or when the hospital notified Public Health – Seattle & King County.