SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KERO) — Healthcare officials are trying to reassure people hospitals are safe after patients at a kaiser medical facility in Santa Clara County were apparently infected with COVID-19 by workers.
"The decision to seek medical care should be made independent of this type of fear," said Dr. Ahmad Kamal, Santa Clara County Healthcare Preparedness Director.
It all started on Christmas day when a worker visited Kaiser's San Jose Medical Center's emergency department wearing an inflatable tree costume.
That staffer was not displaying symptoms and was hoping to cheer up colleagues working the holiday. The person wearing the costume later tested positive for COVID-19, as did several workers they came into contact with.
That number has now grown to at least 74 and also includes at least 15 patients.
Now health officials are worried people who need medical care may delay seeking it.