A number of health care workers at Mississauga Hospital tested positive for COVID-19, indicating an outbreak at the medical facility.
On Thursday, “less than 10” healthcare workers at the hospital’s Medicine Unit 4B tested positive between March 26, 2020 and April 5, 2020.
Mississauga Hospital, which is part of Trillium Health Partners, said an initial investigation suggests staff members “acquired COVID-19 in the community and from other sources, at different times. We are taking this situation very seriously.”
“All patients on the unit are being notified and are being actively monitored and will be tested immediately should they develop symptoms,” the statement said.
The hospital said after a consultation with Peel Public Health an outbreak of staff cases was declared.
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A patient outbreak is defined as when a unit has two or more patients who test positive for a communicable disease, acquired in hospital, such as the flu.
For the virus however, there is no current guidance for declaring an outbreak among health care workers, the hospital said.
“This is an unprecedented time for our hospital, the province and our entire country, and we are working in partnership at all levels of government to adapt our processes and continually improve the way we protect staff and patients from COVID-19.”
The unit has taken additional precautions including closing the unit to any new admissions, enhanced cleaning on the unit, and increased education on the use of personal protective equipment, increased washing of hands and physical distancing.
“We are reminding everyone in our hospital and community the importance of washing your hands, keeping 2 metres apart from others, and if you are sick, stay home.”
Earlier on Thursday, the first healthcare worker in Ontario died from the virus and likely contracted the disease from community spread, Region of Peel confirmed.
As of April 9, there are 5,759 total cases with 200 reported deaths.
According to the province’s data projections, Ontario could see as many as 1,600 deaths by the end of the month, with an upward of 80,000 cases.