The Perfect Enemy | COVID-19 outbreak hits large Bay Area hospital, prompting new mask rules - San Francisco Chronicle
April 10, 2024

COVID-19 outbreak hits large Bay Area hospital, prompting new mask rules – San Francisco Chronicle

COVID-19 outbreak hits large Bay Area hospital, prompting new mask rules  San Francisco ChronicleView Full Coverage on Google News

Physicians and staff at one of the Bay Area’s largest hospitals are required to mask up again following a sizable COVID-19 outbreak.

Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center has reinstated a temporary mask mandate after more than a dozen hospital workers and patients at the medical center tested positive for the coronavirus this week, officials confirmed. 

Kaiser officials issued a written statement stating that doctors and staff must wear masks while providing direct care to patients in the Santa Rosa hospital and emergency department. There are approximately 3,500 health care workers at the facility.

Visitors are also required to wear face coverings inside the hospital.

This policy change comes weeks after the California Department of Public Health lifted the last of the statewide mask mandates on April 3, which included rules for health care settings. 

As the largest health care provider in Sonoma County, Kaiser Permanente said that its COVID-19 policies align with state and federal guidelines, including those for managing outbreaks

“Kaiser Permanente Northern California is committed to protecting the safety of our members, patients, employees, physicians and visitors,” the hospital said in the statement. 

It added that masks are recommended for residents and staff within its six medical office buildings in Santa Rosa.

The outbreak came as California tallied an average of 1,330 new daily COVID-19 cases, or about 3.3 per 100,000 residents on Thursday — roughly the same figures as a month earlier. The state’s seven-day rolling coronavirus test positivity rate, which tracks the percentage of lab test results that are positive for the virus, ticked up slightly to 5.4%, with an average of 10 people dying each day due to the virus.

Reach Aidin Vaziri: avaziri@sfchronicle.com