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COVID-19 outbreaks declared at 2 Toronto hospitals, more than 30 affected

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Oct 19th, 2020

Two hospitals in the city core have declared outbreaks of COVID-19.

St. Joseph’s Hospital at 30 The Queensway and the University Health Network’s (UHN) Toronto Western Hospital located at 399 Bathurst Street are both reporting outbreaks of the disease within certain units.

In a statement, St. Joseph’s says they are “managing a significant number of confirmed COVID-19 cases” in four units at the hospital.

As of Sunday, there are a total of 29 people who are infected with the virus including 13 staff members. Of the 16 patients who have the virus, seven contracted the disease as part of the hospital outbreak.

The units affected are 3M, 4E, 2E and the 2L Medicine.

“We want to assure our community that St. Joseph’s is a safe place to receive care and emergency services,” said spokesperson Robyn Cox. “We have taken many measures to ensure this, including closing affected units to new admissions, further enhancing our cleaning and infection control procedures and implementing additional safety precautions for our staff, such as the mandatory use of face shields at all times in clinical spaces.”

St. Joseph’s says it will commence widespread testing of staff and patients in the coming days as well as implementing changes to its visitor policy.

Toronto Western Hospital says as of Oct. 15, two units – 8A and 8B – are seeing outbreaks of coronavirus. In a statement, the hospital says three patients and six staff members have tested positive for the virus as of Friday.

“There have been no additional positive swabs since that time. One unit – 8A cares for patients with the virus. The 9 cases above are presumed to be transmissions in hospital.”

UHN says their hospitals and emergency departments remain open and it’s safe to come to their facilities for medical care.

This is the second outbreak declared in both those units at Toronto Western in the last five months. The first outbreak outbreak occurred from April 28 to May 16. The hospital has not had an outbreak since June 5.

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has also reported an outbreak at its Queen Street facility. They say two patients have tested positive for the virus on unit 1-4.

CAMH says they have implemented standard infection prevention and control procedures which includes closing the unit to admissions and transfers.

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