Hualien Hospital at Center of Major Outbreak 花蓮部醫護理之家與院內感染 共87人確診

Taiwan announced 1,209 new local COVID-19 cases on April 15. In eastern Taiwan, Hualien Hospital is at the center of its outbreak with 87 cases so far. Some events in the National Middle School Athletic Games have been postponed.

Taitung County Hall was disinfected on the 15th after several county officials tested positive for COVID-19. Twenty-three county hall staff and seven agency officials have been ordered to quarantine, and some departments now have staff working from home. Temperatures are taken at the door and visitors must register before entering the building.

Lu Hsieh-chang, Secretary-General, Taitung County Government: “The county government is still functioning. Our work will not be affected. Those that come into contact with the public, however, may find it more difficult to do their work.”

Over 100 people were tested at the Taitung County Public Health Bureau's testing station at Seaside Park on the morning of the 15th. Hualien Hospital is at the center of its own outbreak with 87 cases so far. The hospital has suspended emergency services. One of the cases is an intern and Tzu Chi University of Science and Technology student. The student and her contacts are in quarantine, and the school has suspended physical classes until the 24th.

Ho Yu-ching, Chief Secretary, Tzu Chi University of Science and Technology: “We have 96 students interning at Tzu Chi Hospital, Hualien Hospital, Mennonite Christian Hospital, and Hualien Armed Forces General Hospital. We are holding classes online for the time being.”

The Hualien County Government has also postponed some National Middle School Athletic Games events originally scheduled for the 15th to 21st. Hualien County primary and secondary schools suspended classes for one day on the 15th so campuses could be disinfected. Classes were held online.

Mr. Huang, Parent: “I guess it's still necessary because of the epidemic. If early prevention is possible, let's do it.”

The Hualien County Health Bureau says virtually the entire county is a hot zone at this point and everyone should be careful. As was planned due to the Games, all elementary and junior high schools will be off until the 21st.