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Staff infections at Zambarano halt patient visitations for 14 days

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Zambarano is a unit of the state-run Eleanor Slater Hospital system. (WPRI/Eli Sherman)

BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Zambarano unit of the Eleanor Slater Hospital in Burrillville has temporarily suspended all visitation after two staff members tested positive for the coronavirus, state officials confirmed Tuesday afternoon.

Spokesperson Randy Edgar said the no-visitation policy was put in place earlier Tuesday after the state-run facility discovered the two new infections. Nobody outside of the hospital will be allowed to visit patients for two weeks, he said.

The Eleanor Slater system provides medical care at Zambarano as well as psychiatric care at three more units on its Cranston campus. A vaccination rate breakdown between campuses was not immediately available, but Edgar said 69 out of 856 full-time employees and contract workers hadn’t been vaccinated across the entire hospital system.

The “vast majority” of patients had been vaccinated, he added.

In addition to the temporary suspension of visitation, Edgar said the hospital has also implemented the following protocols at Zambarano:

  • Only essential staff will be allowed on patient units
  • Floating of staff will be kept to a minimum
  • Staff who work on the affected patient units and patients on those units will be tested twice a week
  • Patients and staff on other units will be tested once a week
  • Staff who do not work on or go to patient units will continue to be tested monthly
  • Unvaccinated staff will continue to be tested twice a week
  • Patients — the vast majority of whom are vaccinated — must stay on their units and wear masks outside their rooms

Eli Sherman (esherman@wpri.com) is a Target 12 investigative reporter for 12 News. Connect with him on Twitter and on Facebook.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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