In what’s been a bad week in Guelph with COVID-19 developments, comes the late breaking news on Thursday evening that an outbreak of the virus has occurred in an entire ward of Guelph General Hospital. A joint statement from the Hospital and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health says that all immediate measures are being taken to protect staff and patients.
The outbreak occurred in ward 4(e) at the Hospital, which is on the fourth floor of the building in the medicine unit. At least four people have tested positive, but according to the statement both the Hospital and Public Health are still reaching out to any staff and patients that had contact with COVID-19 while visiting the Hospital.
“We are currently aware of four healthcare workers who have tested positive for COVID-19, and as the virus continues to spread, we expect there will be more,” said Marianne Walker, the CEO of Guelph General, in the statement. “We will work with Public Health to identify those who are at risk and contact them immediately. The safety of our staff and patients is our top priority.”
“WDG Public Health follows up with anyone who may have had close contact with a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19. We also work with anyone who has lab-confirmed COVID-19 to ensure they remain self-isolated for the required period of time,” added Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of WDG Public Health. “Stay at home, wash your hands often and don’t visit the hospital unless it is absolutely necessary. Visit www.wdgpublichealth.ca and find out how to protect yourself and your family.”
On Monday, Public Health announced the first case of COVID-19 in Guelph, a man in his 80s at the post-acute unit in St. Joseph’s Health Centre. On Tuesday, it was announced that two members of the Guelph General Hospital staff had tested positive for COVID-19. An exact number of COVID-19 cases in the area covered by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is unavailable.
“My thoughts are with the four people who tested positive and I wish them a speedy recovery,” said Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner in a statement.
“I want to thank Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health for being transparent and doing everything possible to contain the outbreak,” he added. “Our province cannot spare any expense to give hospitals the resources they need to keep health care workers safe.”