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Kaiser Cited, Fined for Multiple COVID-19 Violations Before Christmas Day Outbreak

Kaiser San Jose Medical Center was violating COVID-19 protocols long before its emergency department outbreak caused by an exposure on Christmas Day, according to Cal/OSHA records.

The agency documented multiple violations and fines at Kaiser’s San Jose and Antioch locations months before the outbreak.

According to Cal/OSHA records, Kaiser San Jose in November was cited after it “failed to immediately report … the serious illness suffered by an employee who was hospitalized with COVID-19 for about 7 days starting on March 26, 2020.”

The hospital also was cited for failure “to provide the Medical and Exposure records for an employee who potentially contracted COVID-19 at the workplace during the month of March 2020” at the request of Cal/OSHA.

Fines for those previous violations at the San Jose hospital totaled more than $85,000.

The San Jose hospital’s emergency department had more than 60 workers test positive for COVID-19 after a Christmas Day exposure, and one person died.

Kaiser’s Antioch location was cited for multiple violations, including failure to report to Cal/OSHA when multiple employees were hospitalized as a result of COVID-19 in May and July.

The East Bay location also was cited for insufficient screening procedures, improper social distancing in its breakroom and failure to notify employees who had significant exposures to COVID-19 cases, among other violations.

Fines for the Kaiser Antioch location totaled $56,000.

Kaiser did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the violations, but the hospital told the Mercury News the violations occurred early in the pandemic when protocols were evolving.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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