It’s probably not the news anyone wants to hear, but it’s probably the news we’re going to have to get used to hearing as we move deeper into the fall and winter seasons. Not only does Guelph General Hospital now have one COVID-19 outbreak, it has three. The three separate units on three separate floors are now closed to all visitors except for the ones who are there on compassionate grounds.
According to a media release from the Hospital, the first outbreak was late on Friday when two patients in the 4 West were confirmed to have hospital-acquired COVID. Then, on Tuesday, there were two new outbreaks identified with two patients each in 7 East and 6 West. These are the first outbreaks in the Hospital since May, and they’re also the eighth, ninth and tenth outbreaks at the hospital this year.
As of Wednesday, the Hospital says they have 19 total patients in the hospital with COVID-19 and they currently have 16 staff members out sick after becoming COVID positive. An additional 21 staff members are waiting for the results of their test.
“Our ongoing priority is to ensure the safety of patients and staff working diligently to limit the spread of COVID-19,” said Karen Suk-Patrick, Vice President of People & Support services in a statement. “The community can support hospitals by doing its part by trying to stay well. We encourage everyone to get the influenza vaccine when it becomes available and to stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines. We know vaccines reduce the risk of severe illness and spreading illness to others.”
According to the provincial trends, if you’re unvaccinated then you have a 2.7 times greater chance of ending up in hospital with COVID-19 and you have a 4.6 times greater chance of ending up in the ICU.
The Hospital says that they are taking “several steps” to keep the virus from spreading including the addition of more precautions, COVID testing for all patients in the affected units, and increased and frequent cleaning of high traffic areas.
If there are no new COVID cases reported, the outbreak in 4 West could be declared over on Monday October 24, while the 7 East and 6 West outbreaks could be over by Tuesday November 1.
The news out of the hospital comes on the same day that WDG Public Health posted the latest weekly COVID-19 case numbers. This week, there was a big jump in new cases with 157, which raised the total total number of confirmed cases from 152 to 203.
The big jump in the number of cases has been matched by a jump in the long-term trends too. The 7-day moving rate of confirmed cases locally has jumped up over ten points, from 37.1 per 100,000 to 48.5 per 100,000. Meanwhile, the test positivity rate has also gone up more than three points from 13.1 per cent to 16.6 per cent.
In terms of COVID patients in area hospitals, public health says that there are 20 COVID cases now in acute care, and three cases in intensive care, and both numbers present an overall increase week-over-week both here in the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph region, and across Ontario. According to Public Health Ontario, which published it’s latest data last Thursday, 17.1 per cent of tests are coming back positive when compared to 13.3 per cent the week before.