Redondo Rex walks the neighborhood dressed as a gingerbread cookie in Los Angeles, California on December 1, 2020. Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram/Getty Images

Forty-four hospital staff at Kaiser Permanente San Jose examined constructive for COVID-19 from December 27 to January 1.

The outbreak occurred after an emergency room worker briefly wore an inflatable costume to work on Christmas.

The costume’s fan could have already splayed infectious particles throughout the emergency division.

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A well-meaning gesture at a California hospital could have already backfired this Christmas: To rejoice the vacation, an emergency room worker at Kaiser Permanente San Jose briefly wore an inflatable costume to work on December 25. Hospital officers are actually trying into whether or not the costume’s fan could have already splayed infectious particles throughout the emergency division.

Between December 27 and January 1, 44 hospital staff at Kaiser Permanente San Jose examined constructive for COVID-19.

“Any exposure, if it occurred, would have been completely innocent, and quite accidental, as the individual had no COVID symptoms and only sought to lift the spirits of those around them during what is a very stressful time,” Irene Chavez, the hospital’s senior vice chairman, stated in an announcement to ABC7 News.

She added: “If anything, this should serve as a very real reminder that the virus is widespread, and often without symptoms, and we must all be vigilant.”

The coronavirus spreads mostly by respiratory droplets when an individual breathes, speaks, sings, coughs, or sneezes – however analysis has additionally proven that tiny virus-laden particles referred to as aerosols can linger within the air for minutes or hours in poorly-ventilated indoor areas.

In closed areas, followers can blow these infectious particles within the course of one other individual. That’s why the World Health Organization recommends that desk or pedestal followers ought to be averted in properties when individuals outdoors the quick household are visiting. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention additionally cautions individuals to not put on masks with built-in valves or vents, which may equally expel infectious particles into the encircling air.

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Hospital workers sanitize their palms within the COVID-19 intensive care unit at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nevada on December 16, 2020. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images

Kaiser Permanente informed Business Insider that the hospital was now present process a deep cleansing.

“We are also moving quickly to test all emergency department employees and physicians for COVID-19,” Chavez stated. “Employees confirmed to have COVID-19 or suspected of having COVID-19 due to symptoms will not come to work.”

Some of the hospital’s staff obtained their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine simply earlier than Christmas, NBC News reported – but it surely’s too early for any of them to have already acquired the complete two-dose routine. It may take up to some weeks after the primary shot for the physique to develop immunity within the type of antibodies in opposition to the virus.

That means there’s nonetheless an opportunity of vaccinated staff getting sick. The hospital informed ABC7 News that emergency workers “would not be expected to have reached immunity when this exposure occurred.”

The outbreak arrived at a time when hospitals throughout the nation are already flooded with COVID-19 sufferers. In the week main as much as Christmas, almost one-fifth of US hospitals with intensive care models reported that a minimum of 95% of their ICU beds have been full, in accordance with information from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Intensive care models within the San Francisco Bay Area, the place the San Jose hospital is situated, solely had 5.1% capability as of Saturday. 

Chavez informed ABC7 News that the hospital was “taking steps to reinforce safety precautions among staff, including physical distancing and no gathering in break rooms, no sharing of food or beverages, and masks at all times.”

She added: “Obviously, we will no longer allow air-powered costumes at our facilities.”

This article has been up to date to incorporate an announcement from Kaiser Permanente and mirror the newest variety of contaminated staff. 

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