26 new COVID-19 cases in region, outbreak declared at Hôtel-Dieu Grace

Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, March 4, 2019. Blackburn News file photo.

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare (HDGH) in Windsor.

On Friday, it was announced that the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit was investigating a cluster of cases at HDGH.

In a media release on Sunday morning, HDGH officials announced that an outbreak had officially been declared on the third floor of the hospital’s rehabilitation tower. The outbreak was declared after three staff members and two patients tested positive for the virus.

“Since the onset of this pandemic, HDGH has taken decisive and immediate action with the ever-evolving dynamics of COVID-19 in our community,” read the release. “The safety of our staff, physicians, visitors and our community at large, has and will remain our top priority.”

Although an outbreak had not yet been declared, the HDGH implemented several outbreak measures on Friday in response to the cluster of cases including:

– closing the rehabilitation tower third floor to any new admissions
– enhanced cleaning on rehabilitation tower third floor
– additional break rooms have been opened on the rehabilitation tower third floor
– providing in-room therapy for patients on the rehabilitation tower third floor
– temporarily suspending students, contractors and non-essential staff on the rehabilitation tower third floor
– temporarily suspending Designated Care Partners Visitation Program on the rehabilitation tower third floor
– Reinforcing the importance of the use of personal protective equipment and consistent washing of hands and respecting of physical distancing.

Meanwhile, health officials in the region reported 26 new COVID-19 cases in Windsor-Essex on Sunday. Thirteen cases are still being investigated, nine are from close contact of confirmed cases and four are community-acquired.

A total of 387 cases are currently active.

The outbreak at HDGH is the only active hospital outbreak in Windsor-Essex. There are currently three outbreaks at area long-term care or retirement homes, seven outbreaks at workplaces, two school outbreaks and two community outbreaks.