NW Week

Stanton Hospital is putting patients and staff through tests as it deals with ‘limited’ cases

Patients and staff at Stanton Hospital are being tested as the hospital deals with 'limited' cases

Key takeaways:

  • Anyone who visited the hospital between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m. on January 4 to 6 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on January 7 was also subjected to an exposure notice.
  • Visitors are only allowed in the affected in-patient unit if an exemption has been granted by Kraft or the hospital’s chief operating officer.

As per a hospital official, a COVID-19 outbreak at Stanton Territorial Clinic is “extremely limited,” and residents still can “feel confident” if they need to visit the facility for treatment.

As a result of the pandemic, which was declared Monday evening, Dr. Claudia Kraft, Stanton’s medical director, stated that a single in-patient unit and a dept of employees are now being tested regularly for the virus.

“It’s very hard to protect staff or patient confidentiality if I give actual figures because we have a few really small units as well as departments in the hospital,” Kraft explained.

“A single transfer in a hospital facility can trigger an outbreak,” she explained, “so the numbers can be as low as two cases.”

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Although additional testing is still ongoing, Kraft stated that no patients have been “impacted” as of Wednesday morning.

The outbreak was also accompanied by an exposure notice for anybody who visited the hospital between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m. on January 4 to 6 and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on January 7. Vaccinated people were advised to monitor for signs. In contrast, non-vaccinated people were advised to schedule a COVID-19 test on the fourth day after exposure, regardless of whether or not they had any symptoms.

How are services affected?

According to Kraft, the presence of COVID-19 across the territory is having a “significant impact” on hospital operations, but the outbreak itself is having a “minimal” impact.

“As a result, we haven’t had to cut any services,” she said.

According to Kraft, some patients must be isolated until their tests are completed, which impacts their capacity to move around the hospital and the type of personal protective equipment they must wear while receiving care.

Visitors are only allowed in the affected in-patient unit if Kraft or the hospital’s chief operating officer has granted an exemption.

She explained, “It’s not closed for visitation; we just want to know who’s in and out.”

Because some employees need to isolate, come in on their days off to get tested, or get tested before working a shift, the hospital, which has long battled with lack of staff, is facing an “operational impact” due to the outbreak, according to Kraft.

COVID-19 hospitalizations, which the territory’s chief public health officer, Dr. Kami Kandola, predicted would eventually rise due to the sheer volume of new infections across the territory, are also likely to put additional strain on Stanton.

On Tuesday, the territory reported a single COVID-19 hospitalization.

Patients and staff at Stanton Hospital are being tested as the hospital deals with 'limited' cases
Patients and staff at Stanton Hospital are being tested as the hospital deals with ‘limited’ cases. Image from Yahoo

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Kraft stated she’s still “very confident” in the hospital operating “as regular.”

“I would like to encourage people who need care here, and so of course staff who are coming to operate here,” she said, “to feel just as hopeful as they did last week before the outbreak was declared.”

This is the 1st outbreak at the hospital since the COVID-19 pandemic started, and Kraft recognizes it as a “tremendous success.”

“It’s amazing that a facility that successfully concentrates COVID, because COVID patients come here for care, has successfully avoided this for this long.”

According to Kraft, the pandemic will not be asserted until the hospital has gone 28 days without conveying the virus.

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