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News and Information
September 23, 2020
Virginia Mason Franciscan Health and Kitsap Public Health Department Investigating COVID-19 Cases
Virginia Mason Franciscan Health and the Kitsap Public Health District are investigating two confirmed COVID-19 cases at the Franciscan Medical Group Cardiothoracic clinic in Bremerton. These cases are separate from the outbreak at St. Michael Medical Center.
Two employees tested positive after interacting with a patient who entered the clinic for testing before a scheduled procedure. This patient tested positive, and the employees were then tested as a result. Ongoing contact tracing and investigation is underway in coordination with public health, but at this time, no additional cases have been confirmed at the clinic.
Additionally, there are two employee cases being investigated at St. Michael Medical Center. Neither of these cases nor the clinic cases are linked to the original outbreak at the hospital. Contact tracing and investigation is underway.
“Even as we strictly follow public health and [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] CDC guidelines, health care facilities and providers are not immune to COVID-19. Our focus is on doing everything we can to mitigate the risks to patients and employees and acting swiftly to prevent any further spread if cases are confirmed,” said Cary Evans, Vice President for Communications and Government Affairs, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. “This global pandemic requires the vigilance of everyone in the community. Please help all of our health care workers by wearing a mask, keeping a safe distance, washing hands, and staying home when sick.”
Out of an abundance of caution, all clinic employees were notified and are being tested, in addition to any other employees who may have been in contact with the positive employees. Any patients who were in contact with the positive employees during the three-day infectious period are being individually notified in writing with information on how they can be tested.
Franciscan Medical Group facilities are following all public health recommendations, including several enhanced safety and personal protective equipment (PPE) measures in place across the Virginia Mason Franciscan Health system to limit potential spread. All staff and patients are screened before entering a facility, and before any scheduled procedures.
About Virginia Mason Franciscan Health
Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is a Catholic nonprofit health system based in Tacoma, Washington, with $2.45 billion in total revenue and a team of more than 12,500 physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, and staff who provide expert, compassionate medical care at 10 hospitals and over 220 primary and specialty care clinics throughout the greater Puget Sound. This includes St. Anthony Hospital, Gig Harbor; St. Clare Hospital, Lakewood; St. Elizabeth Hospital, Enumclaw; St. Francis Hospital, Federal Way; St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma; St. Michael Medical Center, Bremerton and Silverdale; St. Anne Hospital, Burien; Virginia Mason Franciscan Health Rehabilitation Hospital, Tacoma, and Wellfound Behavioral Health Hospital, Tacoma. Started in 1891 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, today Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is one of the largest health systems in Washington state. The system is comprised of more than 1,250 hospital beds and over 4,000 credentialed providers offering cardiovascular care, cancer care, orthopedics and sports medicine, neurosciences, women’s care and other health care services. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health’s mission is to create healthier communities, including caring for the poor and underserved. In fiscal year 2019, the organization provided nearly $200 million in community benefit — free, subsidized, and reduced cost health care and programs. Follow Virginia Mason Franciscan Health on Facebook facebook.com/chifranciscan, Twitter @CHIFranciscan and Instagram @chi.franciscan.