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Virus-exposed staff continue working at state-run psychiatric hospital in RI


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A state-run psychiatric hospital in Rhode Island has allowed “close contacts” of coronavirus-infected patients and staff to continue working, officials said.

A spokesperson for the state-run Eleanor Slater Hospital in Cranston acknowledged in an email to The Providence Journal that exposed workers were still on the job while awaiting their own test results, the newspaper reported Tuesday.

As of Tuesday, there were 14 positive patients at Slater, including one who was taken to another hospital, and 35 infected staffers, spokesperson Randal Edgar said.

Exposed staff are allowed to work while awaiting their own test results, per state Department of Health guidelines, he said.

“Per RIDOH, health care workers are considered critical infrastructure workers. They can work after being a close contact, provided that they take certain measures,” he said.

Those include wearing a surgical mask, monitoring for symptoms and taking their temperature every four hours while at work. They are also not allowed to participate in any activities outside of work.

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FIRE DEPARTMENT OUTBREAK

A coronavirus outbreak that has infected abut 60% of East Greenwich’s firefighters has forced the temporary closure of one of the town’s two fire stations, the firefighters union said Wednesday.

The union in a tweet said 21 of their 34 firefighters have tested positive for the virus.

Most of the firefighters are experiencing mild symptoms and a couple are experiencing moderate symptoms, according to the union.

“Mutual aid from our neighboring communities is in place as a temporary & immediate response plan as we work through these unprecedented times while our members recover & remain in quarantine,” the union said.



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