Some of you may have heard of a COVID-19 outbreak last month at a hospital in North West London. The outbreak resulted in the closure of the A&E unit as 70 staff were quarantined. An investigation has revealed that a nurse who had the virus inadvertently infected some 16 others during a training session. This led to some staff becoming ill and others were required to self isolate because they had been in close contact. The A&E closure resulted in ambulances having to be diverted to other hospitals.
Chain of Events
The direct link to the training course became apparent when a number of people who attended the session developed symptoms. The subsequent investigation found that not everyone was wearing a mask nor adopting social distancing measures fully. This was a particular problem during breaks when social distancing measures broke down.
The fact that the training session took place at all has been a cause for concern. Since early in the corona virus pandemic courses such as these have been cancelled or carried out on-line instead.
At USC we have been avoiding close contacts and any training requiring a physical presence since March. Although the COVID-19 situation is now becoming easier we require strict adherence to risk assessment protocols produced by the organisations we work for. We supplement these with our own risk assessments to ensure the safety of our staff and those that they come in contact with. We also require confirmation on the day that attendees at any of our courses do not have any symptoms associated with the corona virus. Also they should not feel unwell or have other risk factors (eg contacts who may be self isolating).
Masks are required unless there is adequate spacing or there are suitable screens in place . Where close work or touching is likely during a demonstration masks and gloves must be used.