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The University of Florida (UF) Health is refusing to confirm a group of COVID-19 infections in 17 residents, a partner and an administrative employee, all of whom allegedly contracted the disease to a private party.
The COVID cluster in the Gainesville-based system was brought to light by the university’s news service, Fresh Tech Florida. according to a Fresh Tech On July 27, the report, residents and a partner – all members of the Department of Anesthesiology – went to a party earlier in July that was attended by 20 to 30 other residents.
Department President Timothy E. Morey, MD, wrote to staff on 10 July to report the cases and said all affected had recovered at home, according to an email Fresh Tech Florida. It is not clear whether residents and companions acted while infected. Morey did not return a request for comment as of press time.
UF Health did not inform the public – something that should not have been ignored, said Arthur Caplan, MD, DRS William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitti, professor of bioethics at New York University Langone Health (Caplan is also one for Medscape Are constantly helpful)).
“If there was any chance of contact with patients, visitors or the public, the hospital should say they had an outbreak and what they did about it,” Caplan told Medscape medical news. People should also be told that they can be contacted to find out the outbreak.
The principal scientific officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges, Ross McKinney Jr., said it should be seen as a cautionary tale. “The story reflects the fact that everyone, regardless of their age or professional background, needs to be careful with COVID,” McKinney said Medscape medical news.
“Group gatherings where individuals do not wear masks, especially in close quarters with loud talking, are the ideal setting for such a super-spreader event,” he said.
McKinney noted several direct and indirect consequences. In addition to getting sick, residents or partners may put patients at risk if they were infected but are asymptomatic.
In addition, “the anesthesia department now has to cover for sick residents and peers who thought it was going to be available to work with patients,” he said, adding, “Everyone, especially those working in healthcare Ones, take personal responsibility. “
Warrant of disciplinary action?
Caplan suggested that residents and companions should be disciplined. “If they went to a party and did not follow social discrimination and estrangement, they would be under discipline,” he said, adding that the hospital should also renew its efforts to prevent COVID with everyone.
Fresh Tech Florida There are reports that UF’s anesthesiology department has about 100 residents.
Told the health system Medscape medical news Only a small number – about 3.4% – of its 12,000 employees have achieved COVID. But when asked specifically about residents and partners, the organization said in a statement, “State and federal privacy laws are such that we often cannot comment on specific situations, and like any business, Employees get sick on the spot. “
The UF also stated that it follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidelines by isolating anyone who becomes ill and that it aids in contact tracing. The health system said that employees are not allowed to return to work, unless they are investigated and negative.
The health system stated, “Most of our employees who have tested positive in the past few months have acquired COVID-19 in the community, not the hospital setting.” There has been no effect on patient care.
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