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Temporary Closure of QEH Kitchen

Ms. Louise Bobb, Chief Operations Officer (Ag)

The Board of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital has taken a decision to temporarily close the QEH kitchen effective Tuesday, March 2 until Sunday March 14. This is a strategic response to protect patients and staff, following positive Covid-19 tests among members of the kitchen staff.

On February 16, 2021, a staff member in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s kitchen tested positive for COVID-19. A contact tracing exercise was immediately undertaken. Members of staff were risk stratified on a case by case basis to determine their level of exposure. High risk staff were removed from the kitchen, the area deep cleaned and phased mass COVID-19 PCR testing was conducted across the kitchen staff and management.

Over the last week, of the 62 members of staff tested, a total of 12 persons have tested positive for COVID-19.  This number is sufficiently significant to trigger the decision for closure of the kitchen. The remaining members of staff will be quarantined at a government facility. After 5 days, staff members in quarantine will be retested.

The daily meal service provided by the kitchen is critical to patient care and recovery. During these unprecedented times, in addition to the 600 in-patients hospitalized at the QEH, the kitchen has the added responsibility of providing meals for patients spread across  the Enmore Isolation Centre, Blackman and Gollop Isolation Centre, and a private nursing home which has been transformed into an isolation facility under the operation of QEH after numerous positive COVID tests amongst patients and staff of the home. In order to maintain services to in-patients across these facilities and minimize any disruption caused by this temporary closure, the provision of in-patient meal services at QEH and Enmore will be outsourced to the School Meals Department of the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training. In addition, a private catering company has been contracted to provide meals to the Blackman and Gollop Isolation Centre and nursing home isolation facility during the period Wednesday, March 3 to Saturday, March 13, 2021.


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