New COVID-19 outbreak declared at Sudbury hospital
SUDBURY -- Public Health Sudbury & Districts declared a new COVID-19 outbreak at Health Sciences North’s Ramsey Lake Health Centre Tuesday night.
Health officials say this latest outbreak is affecting the seventh floor (7B), North Tower and involves four patients who have tested positive for the disease.
It is the third unit at the Sudbury hospital to declare an outbreak, but officials said in a news release Wednesday morning that it is contained to the vascular, thoracic and urology surgery unit.
Currently, two other outbreaks are contained in the south tower at the hospital including one on the fourth floor and one on the sixth floor, and officials say there is no evidence of ongoing transmission.
"This outbreak is separate and distinct from the one declared on 6 South on Friday March 12, and separate from the outbreak declared on March 13 on 4 South," said the hospital in a news release on Wednesday morning. "The Ministry of Health defines a COVID-19 outbreak in a public hospital as two or more laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases involving patients or staff within a specified area within a 14-day period where both cases could have reasonably acquired their infection in the hospital."
The hospital said the facility's occupational health and safety and infection prevention and control teams are working closely with the health unit to determine the outbreak's cause.
Public Health or Health Sciences North will directly contact anyone identified as a close contact and will provide further direction.
As of Wednesday morning, the hospital said no staff have been identified as being high-risk exposures as a result of this new outbreak.
"Admissions and designated care partners to the affected unit are restricted. Impacted patients have been moved to HSN’s COVID-19 Unit and are in isolation, being monitored for symptoms and have been tested. Asymptomatic patients remaining on 7 B North have been placed on isolation precautions, are being monitored and tested for symptoms," the hospital said.
Clinics and procedures will continue as the hospital remains open.
"The need for everyone to monitor and screen for COVID-19 symptoms daily and to stay home when ill is critical in limiting the spread of the virus. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, please take it seriously, and get tested," said Stacey Laforest, Director, Health Protection Division, Public Health Sudbury & Districts.
Public health says it is actively working with the hospital to investigate the outbreak and ensure patients and staff are protected.