Number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise amid outbreak at Bremerton Hospital

VIDEO: COVID-19 outbreak at Bremerton hospital

KITSAP COUNTY, Wash. — An outbreak of coronavirus infections in Kitsap County has been traced to St. Michael Medical Center in Bremerton. 

According to the Kitsap County Health District, a staff member at St. Michael Medical Center, which until recently was called Harrison Medical Center, tested positive for the coronavirus on August 4. By August 14 an outbreak was declared as hospital officials teamed up with state and local health officials to track people who had been exposed.

Forty-five cases have been confirmed as of August 24. Thirty of those are staff members at St. Michael, and 15 are patients.

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“Our hearts go out to essential frontline healthcare workers and their families and all the affected patients who’ve been directly impacted,” said Dr. Gib Morrow with the Kitsap Public Health District.

The medical center is now restricting new admissions, and all patients and staff members are being screened, according to CHI Franciscan, the center’s parent company. In a post on its website, CHI Franciscan said, “We are working closely with the state health department and Kitsap Public Health and performing contact tracing and ongoing testing.”

Visitors at St. Michael are now being limited.

“We understand how important it is for family members to see their loved ones,” said Rear Admiral Michael H. Anderson, MD (ret.), chief medical officer for CHI Franciscan. “But because of this outbreak we had to return to a very limited opportunity for visitors to come to the hospital.”

According to the state department of health the outbreak has affected multiple units at the hospital. Patients who were discharged from the impacted units have been notified. No information has been released on the condition of anyone diagnosed, and no deaths related to the outbreak have been reported by the health department.