Breaking News
More () »

COVID-19 outbreak at Bremerton hospital up to 45 cases in staff and patients

Officials expect the number of COVID-19 cases in an outbreak at St. Michael Medical Center in Bremerton to increase as all patients and staff are tested.

BREMERTON, Wash — A coronavirus outbreak at a Bremerton hospital has grown to 45 cases.

Dr. Gib Morrow, health officer for the Kitsap Public Health District, reported during a briefing Monday that 30 staff and 15 patients at St. Michael Medical Center in Bremerton were infected with COVID-19.

“I think this is just an example of how insidious and tricky and difficult to recognize this virus is, and that’s the reason every one of us needs to behave as if we are infected and everyone around us is,” Morrow said.

Morrow said the health district expects the number of cases to rise as St. Michael continues to test all staff and patients.

The hospital reported the first COVID-19 case in the outbreak on Aug. 4, according to a timeline provided by the health district. At that time, Morrow said the initial investigation didn’t reveal any close contacts at the hospital.

On Aug. 13, the health district linked five coronavirus cases within one unit at the hospital. The health district declared an outbreak a day later and recommended testing in that unit, which revealed more cases.

RELATED: Coronavirus outbreak at Bremerton hospital grows to 45 cases

Last week, more than 30 COVID-19 cases were reported in multiple units of St. Michael Medical Center, which is part of the CHI Franciscan system.

Rear Admiral Michael H. Anderson, the chief medical officer for CHI Franciscan, said the hospital has returned to some of the limitations it implemented earlier in the pandemic, including a stricter visitation policy and increased protections beyond Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for high-risk procedures.