Five Western State Hospital workers test positive for COVID-19

Five Western State Hospital workers test positive for COVID-19

LAKEWOOD, Wash. — Five employees at Washington state's largest psychiatric hospital in Lakewood have tested positive for COVID-19.

The Department of Social and Health Services made the announcement Wednesday, learning of the confirmations after two were announced in the morning and two more in the afternoon and one reported last week. The hospital has 2,700 state and contracted staff.

One of the staff members had not been at the hospital during the incubation period of the illness and has since fully recovered, according to DSHS.

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This all comes as a second patient at the 857-bed hospital has tested positive for the virus.

The patients who tested positive were on different wards and were being treated at Pierce County hospitals, according to DSHS officials.

Washington state leads the nation in coronavirus deaths with at least 95 fatalities and almost 2,000 positive cases.

“This is a trying time for the world and especially health care systems, trying to keep ahead of this illness,” said DSHS Assistant Secretary for the Behavioral Health Administration Sean Murphy. “I’m so appreciative of the staff who come to work every day to ensure our patients are receiving the treatment they need while simultaneously working equally hard to combat this virus.”

Officials said in a release that: WSH follows protocols for infectious diseases as a matter of routine. Due to COVID-19, the hospital has also implemented restrictions for patient and staff movement between wards and screens all staff prior to their shift for symptoms or exposure to the virus.