SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Twenty-three Baystate Medical Center employees and 13 patients on a non-COVID floor have all tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the health system.

The announcement was made Monday morning by Dr. Mark Keroack, the President and CEO of Baystate Health, during the weekly COVID-19 City of Springfield update. The coronavirus spread at a non-COVID clinical unit last week and it was because one of their own employees worked while being sick.

Dr. Keroack said an employee had traveled to a hotspot within the United States and had contracted COVID-19. After returning to the area, that employee then went back to work.

“This event reinforces that COVID-19 is highly contagious, and requires vigiliance in order to contain the spread. We’re deeply disappointed that this outbreak has occurred, and we’re committed to an ongoing review of our safety practices, to ensure they’re alligned with current guidelines and science.”

Dr. Mark Keroack, President and CEO, Baystate Health

Keroack added that the virus was able to spread despite the precautions they’ve taken including temperature screening. That is because of a lack of social distancing and wearing of masks in a hospital breakroom.

A startling announcement Monday from the president; 23 employees and 13 patients tested positive, after a recent COVID-19 outbreak at Baystate Medical Center. An infected employee caused the virus to spread in a non-covid unit.

Dr. Keroack explained that another factor that led to the spread of the virus was staff not wearing their masks and social distancing in the break rooms. Keroack says Baystate is reaching out to all patients who received care in the unit between July 15 and 23.

“These simple lapses were able to happen, in spite of our screening of employees for fever and other symptoms for every shift and mandating mask usage and social distancing throughout the facility,” Dr. Keroack told 22News.

Baystate Health is doing an extensive review of its COVID safety practices and is working with the state DPH on contact tracing.

If you received care in the unit between July 15 and 23, as well as the employees who had been working there, you are asked to reach out to the Springfield facility.

Baystate Health COVID-19 News

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