Three Toronto hospitals declare coronavirus outbreaks

Oct 19 2020, 3:40 pm

Three Toronto hospitals have declared COVID-19 outbreaks in recent days.

A spokesperson for Toronto Western told Daily Hive that as of Sunday, three patients and six staff members on two units — 8A and 8B — contracted the virus in the outbreak that was declared last Thursday.

“We have been swabbing staff and patients on both units since Thursday,” the spokesperson said.

And on Sunday, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) confirmed an outbreak on Unit 1 – 4 at the Queen Street site. Two patients received a positive diagnosis.

“CAMH has implemented standard infection, prevent, and control procedures for respiratory outbreaks, including closing the unit to admissions and transfers,” the statement said.

“We continue to remain vigilant about policies and procedures to keep staff and patient safe and we are working with our partners at Toronto Public Health on reporting, surveillance, and infection control.”

At St. Joseph’s Hospital, there have been declared outbreaks on the following units:

  • The 3M unit, declared on October 16
  • The 4E unit, declared on October 15
  • The 2L Medicine unit, declared on October 14
  • The 2E unit, declared on October 3

“Unity Health has precautions in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the continued safety of our patients and staff. When an outbreak occurs in a hospital, additional measures are taken to mitigate further infections,” the website reads.

There is also enhanced cleaning of the unit, and contact tracing for those possibly exposed.

A spokesperson told Daily Hive there are seven active COVID-19 positive patients attributed to these outbreaks and 11 active COVID-19 positive staff.

Outbreak status means the unit has had two COVID-19 cases within a 14-day period where both cases could reasonably have been acquired in the hospital.

“You will notice on our public-facing website that we have 14 COVID-19 cases at St. Joseph’s. That number includes those patients related to the outbreak, as well as COVID-19 patients on our unit unrelated to the outbreak,” the statement said.

“We have implemented widespread testing of staff and patients, and all results received for inpatients tested over the weekend came back negative. Staff testing is ongoing.”

As of October 17, the hospital has changed their visitor policy to allow two visits per week from a named Essential Care Partner, with some exceptions for palliative and pediatric patients and women in labor.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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