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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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