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Coronavirus cluster at Attleboro hospital on heels of outbreak at Brigham and Women’s illustrates continuing challenges

Officials at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro say a cluster of COVID-19 cases there has expanded to at least four patients and 10 employees in the past week, while Brigham and Women’s Hospital now counts at least 52 patients and employees linked to its September outbreak, illustrating the continuing challenges of containing an aggressive virus as infections rise statewide.

On Sept. 29, Sturdy closed its Balfour surgical wing, where the cluster is believed to have originated, to new patients, and has prohibited visitors to the entire hospital until further notice. So far, all patients and employees who have tested positive are linked to the Balfour wing, said Dr. Brian Patel, the hospital’s chief of emergency services.

“We have tested several hundred employees to be on the safe side and are trying to do everything we can to contain further transmission,” Patel said. “It’s still not clear to our infection control

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Brigham, Broad Institute team to test 10,000 people in at-home coronavirus study called TestBoston

Officials said the study will seek to detect active coronavirus cases, evidence of previous infections, and changes in the rates of both in a representative group of 10,000 Brigham patients consistent with the demographics of Greater Boston.

Over the course of six months, the statement said, study participants will get monthly at-home kits for viral and anti-body testing. They’ll also complete routine symptom surveys and will be able to seek additional testing should they develop symptoms, officials said.

Ongoing study results, the statement said, could reveal “critical clues” and warning signs about how COVID-19 cases are changing in the Boston area, while also helping researchers set up a model for at-home sample collection that’s “integrated” within a medical and public health system.

In addition, the study will help clinicians learn more about whether prior infection protects someone from future reinfection, according to the statement.

TestBoston will be led by Dr.

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14 more COVID-19 cases emerge from cluster at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Fourteen additional people have contracted the coronavirus in connection to an outbreak at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as the cluster’s total number of cases at the Boston medical facility grew to 42 Monday.

In a statement, hospital officials said 488 employees connected to the cluster had been tested and 30 tested positive, while 581 patients were tested across all inpatient areas and 12, who were previously identified as connected to the cluster, tested positive.

“All current inpatients are being tested for COVID-19, and this will be repeated every three days,” the statement says. “This is in addition to the current hospital policy which requires testing for all patients upon admission and daily screening for symptoms.”

The number of cases resulting from the outbreak has continued to tick upward since the hospital’s Infection Control Team discovered the cluster within two inpatient units at Braunwald Tower on Sept. 22.

The team believes

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Brigham and Women’s Latest to Battle In-House COVID Outbreak

Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19 among patients and staff, which the facility blames partly on lapses in infection control practices by employees.

The hospital, a Harvard Medical School teaching facility, reported on September 26 that 23 employees and 11 patients tested positive as a result of exposure within the hospital. The outbreak was first detected on September 22, and cases have risen with increased testing. The hospital said it had tested 400 employees and 54 patients as of September 26.

Brigham and Women’s is not alone in trying to keep COVID-19 from rearing its head within its walls. Hospitals and health departments reported an outbreak in late August in Washington and in early September at a hospital in Connecticut.

The Boston Globe reported in late September that Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth and New England Baptist Hospital both had recent outbreaks at their facilities,

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