People visiting hospital for reasons that had nothing to do with the coronavirus often led to them contracting the disease – with more than 2,000 of them dying.
Data released by Kaiser Health News, a non-profit organization, details how there were more than 10,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 that began in hospitals in 2020.
The organization believes the true number of cases is in fact far higher.
Around 21 percent of the cases that started in hospitals between the months of April and September last year led to the deaths of more than 2,000 people.
During the first wave of the pandemic, patients who went into hospital to be treated for conditions unrelated to Covid were infected and died
At hospitals with high rates of covid spread, staff members were often alarmed by the lack of safety practices
Some say part of the blame lies with poor hospital infection control protocols and staff spreading the virus to one another, and then to patients.
Although staff were also separated depending on who they were treating and were instructed to social distance at all times from other staff members, often they would congregate in areas to use computers, access records and take breaks.
Some older hospitals were at a greater risk of outbreaks because of narrow corridors, small rooms and poor ventilation.
Other studies suggest moving patients between beds on wards to create space was another vector for infection.
Scientists in charge of stemming hospital outbreaks say hospital-acquired cases of Covid-19 ‘were a major problem’ in the early days of the pandemic but say hospitals are ‘absolutely safe’ now.
Cindy Johnson holds a painting of her husband, Steven, a retired pharmacist who had survived colon cancer and took meticulous measures to avoid contracting covid-19. Steven died of covid in December 2020, and Cindy believes he contracted the virus at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, Florida, where he was admitted for an infection in his hip
Steven Johnson, 66, was expecting to get an infection cut out of his hip at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, Florida, in November 2020. His wife, Cindy Johnson, says he had tested negative for covid-19 two days before he was admitted. After 13 days in the hospital, he tested positive and died soon afterwards
One Florida woman, Cindy Johnson, thinks that her husband Steven became infected with coronavirus by a staff member at the Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, Florida in November 2020.
The retired pharmacist had gone into hospital to receive treatment for a flesh infection but ended up contracting Covid.
Steven had tested negative for Covid two days before he was admitted. After 13 days in the hospital, he tested positive. He died soon afterwards.
Cindy took a Covid test but was negative.
She believes the large number of hospital staff members flowing into and out of his room, where Steven was often unmasked, led to him getting the infection.
Cindy said it is ‘appalling’ hospital employees are not required to be vaccinated.
Thousands of patients died of coronavirus which they caught in hospitals, as the disease spread among staff who moved between rooms (file photo)
‘I’m furious. How can they say on their website … that the safety precautions ‘we’ve put into place make our facilities among the safest possible places to receive healthcare at this time’?’ she said.
Blake Medical Center spokesperson Lisa Kirkland said the hospital is ‘strongly encouraging vaccination’ stressing it follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and federal and state guidelines to protect patients.
President Biden has called for all hospital employees to be vaccinated, but it is likely to face resistance. Many states, including Florida, that have banned vaccine mandates.
Cindy Johnson holds a pillow made from a shirt her husband, Steven, used to wear
Cindy Johnson believes her husband, Steven, caught covid-19 from staff at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, Florida, in November 2020. After his death, she asked a doctor who saw patients at the hospital to take down an ‘OPEN & SAFE’ sign outside. It was removed days later
Another casualty was 71-year-old Linda Moore who tested positive at least 15 days into a hospital stay for spinal surgery at Havasu Regional Medical Center in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
The hospital implemented ‘rigorous health and safety protocols to protect all of our patients’ during the pandemic.
But Moore contracted the virus and was airlifted to another hospital where her condition declined further before dying hours later.
‘I asked her mom and her dad and her family and prayed to God, ‘Please just come show her the way,’ said daughter Trisha Tavolazzi. ‘I relive it every day.’
When Tavolazzi asked the hospital about where her mother picked up the virus, nobody called her back.
Linda Moore, right, pictured with her daughter died of covid-19 in July 2020. Her daughter Trisha Tavolazzi says Moore tested positive after at least 15 days at Havasu Regional Medical Center in Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Virus spread among patients and staffers appears to go hand in hand.
At Beaumont Hospital, Taylor, in Michigan, 139 employee covid infections were logged between April 6 and October 20 last year.
Nearly 7% of patients with covid tested positive after they were admitted to the hospital for something else.
A hospital spokesperson said tests were not available to screen all patients last year, resulting in some people being diagnosed late.
Currently all incoming patients are now tested.
So far, more than 46 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded resulting in 750,000 deaths according to data compiled by John Hopkins University.
The figured are higher than any other country on the planet.
When it comes to vaccinations, more than 193,000 people have been jabbed so far which is about 59 percent of the adult population.