36 Upstate Medical employees in quarantine due to ‘reckless and irresponsible actions’

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(WSYR-TV) — According to SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras, 36 Upstate Medical employees are now in mandatory quarantine due to “their reckless and irresponsible actions.”

Upstate placed the employees in a 14-day mandatory quarantine after they attended a Halloween party off-campus this past weekend with a coworker who tested positive for COVID-19, according to an Upstate spokesperson.

Upstate confirmed the positive test result on Tuesday morning. Now, a plan for repetitive testing for all those individuals is underway.

The hospital has been working with the Onondaga County Health Department when it comes to contact tracing. The hospital is also continuing an investigation into the situation.

“Hopefully, this is a lesson learned that we must continue to take extraordinary precaution to keep this virus at bay,” said Malatras.

He also said that he supports “President Dr. Dewan taking all necessary disciplinary measures to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

A spokesperson for the hospital said: “The high-risk behavior on the part of the Upstate staff goes against the professional code of conduct, will not be tolerated and Upstate will pursue all available disciplinary measures against the individuals involved in the situation.”

The spokesperson also said that wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding large, indoor gatherings must be followed at all times, on and off campus.

Malatras released the following statement:

“It’s deeply disappointing that while the overwhelming majority of our students, faculty, and staff are doing the right thing to protect each other from the spread of COVID on campus and in the community that 36 employees at Upstate Medical—medical residents pursuing a career to safeguard the health of others—are in mandatory quarantine due to their reckless and irresponsible actions to have a Halloween party off campus. One has tested positive and we all know too well it just takes one person to infect others when in close proximity and not wearing masks. Hopefully, this is a lesson learned that we must continue to take extraordinary precaution to keep this virus at bay. I support President Dr. Dewan taking all necessary disciplinary measures to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”


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