On Friday, after three workers were diagnosed with the coronavirus (COVID-19), the crisis management team of Tartu University Hospital decided to re-establish restrictions aimed at alleviating the spread of the infectious virus.
None of the three employees were infected at work, however. Regardless, the clinic has directed close to 30 employees to self-isolate and is assessing the situation carefully.
Marek Seer, acting chairman of the management board of University of Tartu Hospital, said: "After it became clear that the employees were infected, all those who were in contact with them were sent home. All of the patients who were treated by the infected workers tested negative for COVID-19, the patients are not infected."
He added that the hospital is implementing all possible measures and is on guard to stop the virus spreading in the hospital. The hospital will not allow infected employees back into the building currently.
Tartu University Hospital will also establish visitation restrictions starting from July 31 and all staff must wear personal protective equipment when dealing with patients, including in dental care. The crisis management team was also re-established.
Seer emphasized: "The developments in Tartu are alarming, nine new cases over 24 hours is similar to the situation in spring. All civilians must understand their role and responsibility. Stay home when you are sick."
There were 13 new cases of the coronavirus diagnosed over 24 hours on Friday. Many of the cases are related to a person who displayed symptoms of the disease but still visited many public areas in Tartu, like the Vabank nightclub and Lõunakeskus shopping center. This has led to an outbreak of the virus, with many cases already connected to the night out.
The Health Board announced on Thursday that larger numbers of new cases are to be expected in the coming days.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste