COVID-19 outbreak declared at Toronto General Hospital

Dec 19 2020, 2:16 pm

University Health Network (UHN) has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Toronto General Hospital after two staff members tested positive for the virus.

The outbreak was reported on December 17, and is linked to the hospital’s Cardiovascular Investigations Unit (Cath Lab).

All staff within the affected unit are being tested for COVID-19, and UHN Health Services is conducting contact tracing. Toronto Public Health may become involved if contact tracing involving the community is required.

Rosa Kim, a senior public affairs advisor at UHN, said that more than 80 staff members have subsequently been tested, and no additional cases have been identified.

A “terminal clean” of the unit, including all common areas, has been completed as well.

“[The outbreak] has not expanded past the original two,” said Dr. Susy Hota, UHN’s Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control.

“We could not identify an obvious source outside of work – or inside – so we erred on the side of caution and called an outbreak.”

In Ontario, a COVID-19 outbreak is declared in a hospital when there is evidence that the virus has been transmitted within a single unit.

University Health Network says they have a “low threshold” for declaring outbreaks at their hospitals.

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