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A California hospital fined more than $ 40,000 after Santa Clara County said it delayed reporting an outbreak of Covid-19.

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Santa Clara County said it issued a breach notice to the Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center on January 5. Since then, the number has increased. According to CNN affiliate KGO.

As of Monday, a total of 92 viruses were associated with the outbreak, according to health officials. This includes 77 staff and 15 patients.

“Kaiser is responsible for complying with all applicable public health orders and occupational safety regulations, including timely reporting of cases and all necessary follow-up,” the county said in an email statement to CNN. I did.

The first cause of the outbreak continues to be investigated by the public health sector, officials said.

In a statement KGOKaiser Permanente San Jose Senior Vice President and Area Manager Irene Chavez said the outbreak could be related to an employee temporarily wearing an “air-powered outfit” in the emergency department at Christmas. Said.

“If that happened, any exposure would have been completely innocent and totally coincidental,” Chavez said. “The individual had no COVID symptoms and was just trying to raise the spirit of those around him during a very stressful time.”

According to Chavez, aerial-powered costumes will no longer be available at this facility.

Public health order issued on October 5In 2020, the hospital will require that confirmed positive Covid-19 cases by employees at work be reported to the public health department within four hours.

The fine for each breach is $ 1,000.

“Kaiser Permanente did not report any of these incidents on the county workplace incident and contact reporting portal because it was mandated by a public health order issued on October 5,” the county said. Said in. “Kaiser also submitted a social distance extension protocol to the county on October 19, proving that it complies with all reporting requirements.”

The county said it was unaware of the positive cases until it was confirmed in a press statement released by Kaiser Permanente on January 3.

In a statement to CNN, Kaiser Permanente spokeswoman Hillary Costa stated that communication with state and local agencies regarding Covid-19 cases at the institution was consistent.

“The proposal that we are doing anything other than publishing a report is inaccurate,” Costa said in a statement.

According to Costa, the hospital is considering quoting Santa Clara County and will respond by the county deadline of January 15.

The health department continues to investigate the cause of the outbreak. The outbreak was determined not to be the first confirmed new variant of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom.

CNN’s Kay Jones and Jessica Flynn contributed to this report.

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