As people everywhere keep hoping that we’ve turned the corner with the Omicron variant, there was bad news coming out of the Guelph General Hospital late on Tuesday. For the second time in less than a week, a new COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at the hospital, one floor up and on the opposite side of the building where one more patient and one more staff member have now caught the virus.
The new outbreak is in the 7 East unit, and is almost literally on top of an outbreak declared just five days ago in 6 West, which could be declared over by this Friday if there are no additional cases. In that outbreak that was also one patient and one staff member who were diagnosed with COVID-19.
“Several steps have been taken to help patients and keep the virus from spreading,” said a media release from the Hospital. “These steps include; putting all the patients in the units in appropriate additional precautions, COVID testing of all patients in the two units, closing the units to visitors and increasing the cleaning being done including frequent cleaning of high touch and high traffic areas.”
This is the third time in the last two months that there’s been a COVID outbreak at Guelph General Hospital. The trend started on December 22 with an outbreak in the 4 East unit, which, according to the most recent facilities outbreak report from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, has affected three staff members and five patients, and has yet to be called off by public health as of last Friday.
In that Friday report, there are 15 different institutions in the region that are facing COVID-19 outbreaks including 274 staff members and 182 patients across all those institutions who have all been infected with the virus.
The latest outbreak news came on the same day as the latest COVID-19 report for area hospitals, and while the Guelph Hospital had a couple of beds available, there’s still no extra room in the ICU. The current staff impact from COVID-19 is now 42 out of the hospital’s compliment of 1,994 staff members, which is down from 61 on Friday.
In terms of hospital capacity in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, there are 36 cases in accute care accounting for just over 90 per cent of regional capacity, and there are 12 confirmed cases in the ICU accounting for 82.5 per cent capacity.
There were 49 new confirmed cases in the region on Tuesday and 152 recoveries meaning that there was just 816 active cases, although that number is soft due to the limited testing capacity province-wide. There was also another fatality in the region on Tuesday to bring the number of COVID deaths in the area since the start of the pandemic up to 136.
“Our hospitals continue to feel considerable pressures for acute care beds and ICU beds. As a community, we remain committed to working as a system of care to support one another in caring for patients that require hospitalization across Waterloo Wellington. However, the same remains true: there are not enough beds for the number of patients who require care,” said Lee Fairclough in a statement. She’s the president of St. Mary’s General Hospital and Waterloo Wellington hospital regional lead for the COVID-19 response.