COVID outbreak declared at Bluewater Health

Bluewater Health hospital in Sarnia. June 2017. (Photo by BWH)

For the second time in less than a month, a COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Bluewater Health in Sarnia.

The hospital, in consultation with Lambton Public Health, said Friday morning the outbreak is in the General Medicine and Acute Medicine units.

Communications Chief Julia Oosterman said the medicine units remain open for admissions with enhanced precautions, cleaning and infection control measures in place to prevent further transmission of the virus.

“So far, any of the people who have been impacted are staff and they’re off isolating,” said Oosterman. “We’ve tested all of our patients, not all of the tests are back, but we don’t have any patients who have come back as positive. It’s such a fluid thing and tests are coming in literally as we speak, but last time I checked we had six staff positive and it is understood at this point, that at least some of them have acquired it in the community.”

According to provincial directive, two or more linked positive cases within a 14-day period is considered an outbreak. An outbreak is declared when there is evidence of transmission of the disease within the hospital on a single unit.

The health unit website said an outbreak at the Sarnia hospital from January 22 to February 8 saw two patients die and a total of four patients and six staff members infected.