Total of five staff have now tested positive for COVID-19 at Western State Hospital

Release Date: 
Mar 25 2020
DSHS Office of Communications
Kelly Von Holtz

LAKEWOOD -- The Department of Social and Health Services said there are now a total of five employees at Western State Hospital who have tested positive for COVID-19. The hospital has 2700 state and contracted staff members.

The hospital learned of the two new confirmations after sending out a press release earlier today regarding two other staff. There are now a total of two patients and five staff members who have tested positive for the virus. One of the staff members had not been at the 857-bed hospital during the incubation period of the illness and has since fully recovered.

“This is a trying time for the world, and especially health care systems, trying to keep ahead of this illness,” said DSHS Assistant Secretary for the Behavioral Health Administration Sean Murphy. “I’m so appreciative of the staff who come to work every day to ensure our patients are receiving the treatment they need while simultaneously working equally hard to combat this virus.”

WSH follows protocols for infectious diseases as a matter of routine. Due to COVID-19, the hospital has also implemented restrictions for patient and staff movement between wards and screens all staff prior to their shift for symptoms or exposure to the virus.

“Our number one concern is the health and safety of our patients and staff,” said Murphy. “We continue following the guidance provided by Department of Health and the CDC related to COVID-19.”

Anyone who visited Western State Hospital during the past two weeks should monitor for symptoms, and if exhibiting any consistent with COVID-19, contact their health care provider for further direction.

Western continues to combat the spread of this pandemic with increased cleaning of high-touch areas, limiting travel outside of the hospitals for patients and continued screening of everyone entering the facility.