In what can only be described as an extremely unfortunate event, a San Jose hospital staff member who dressed in a self-inflating Christmas tree costume likely caused a COVID-19 outbreak, which the The Washington Post reports has infected 43 and killed one so far.
"Obviously this is a highly unusual situation involving a well-intentioned staff member acting on their own without advance notice or approval," Irene Chavez, senior vice president and area manager of the Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center in California, told the newspaper. "Any exposure, if it occurred, would have been completely innocent, and quite accidental, as the individual had no COVID symptoms."
Officials believe the battery-powered fan inside the Christmas costume may have spread and circulated coronavirus droplets around the hospital, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
"They’re just acting as the mover of air in a huge way," Peter Chin-Hong, a professor of medicine and infectious disease expert at the University of California in San Francisco, told the Chronicle. "It’s like a fan that’s kind of multidirectional and random."
A registration clerk at the hospital died after catching COVID in the outbreak, according to NBC.
California's hospitals are absolutely slammed right now. Hospitalizations are at an all time high with ICUs across the state at almost 100 percent capacity.
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READ MORE: An outbreak has killed one, infected 43 at California hospital. An inflatable holiday costume is likely to blame, officials say. [The Washington Post]
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