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Põlva Hospital outbreak is slowly winding down

Põlva Hospital chief Margot Bergmann on
Põlva Hospital chief Margot Bergmann on "Terevisioon". Source: ERR

At the peak of an outbreak in Põlva Hospital, all but one of the 50 COVID-19 beds were filled, but some patients are now free from isolation and as of Thursday, there are 42 coronavirus patients hospitalized in Põlva.

Põlva Hospital chief Margot Bergmann told ETV's morning show "Terevisioon" on Thursday that the outbreak is largely intra-hospital. "We have a small hospital and since there is much movement, then one infected patient can bring a lot of trouble. And that is how the virus can spread in the hospital," Bergmann said.

As of Thursday morning, 42 of the possible 50 COVID-19 beds are filled at Põlva Hospital. At the outbreak's peak, 49 patients were hospitalized for COVID-19, half of the hospital's total capacity. "We have wrestled with the outbreak for two weeks and now there are patients, who are finishing isolation. The number has begun to drop slowly," Bergmann noted.

According to the hospital chief, hospitalized patients mostly come from the age group of 70-80 years old. "They are internal medicine patients, carrying comorbidities. It is still good that we can find them quickly in the hospital conditions and can treat them faster that way. They are generally in good conditions today," she said.

How a hospital can avoid such outbreaks going forward, Bergmann said all depends on the use of personal protective equipment and the following of rules. "We have two COVID departments today and they have their own staff and there is no movement on the building. Rules have been made stricter in other departments as well, that are clean. There is no drinking coffee together in break rooms and such," the chief of medicine said.

Bergmann added that the patients in the so-called clean departments are tested practically every other day. If a positive patient is found, they will immediately be isolated.

60 percent of the hospital staff is vaccinated as of Thursday and there are more applicants. "The number could be better, but the outbreak scared some workers and there were more vaccinations after," said Margot Bergmann.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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