Update – COVID-19 Outbreak Declared Over at Northumberland Hills Hospital

In Editor Choice, Local

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit has today declared the following outbreak over:

This outbreak was declared on Friday, November 13 after two symptomatic staff tested positive for COVID-19. The facility-wide outbreak was declared by the Health Unit after preliminary information indicated the second case was exposed to the virus at the hospital.

Additional investigation has revealed information that the exposure site may have been outside of the hospital setting. As a result, the Health Unit has declared the outbreak at Northumberland Hills Hospital over and no further COVID-19 transmission has been identified among staff and patients.

“Today’s announcement comes after significant effort on behalf of our local Health Unit and internal NHH Infection Prevention and Control teams. I want to thank these teams for their diligence, and our regional infectious disease experts for their valued advice,” said Linda Davis, NHH President and CEO.

“I also want to express our gratitude to the patients, families and staff who supported the investigation. Today’s decision was made possible by the additional information gathered, and the fact that no further confirmed positive cases have been identified among staff, physicians or patients despite extensive surveillance testing.”

In an abundance of caution, NHH will remain closed to all but essential visitors (specifically, patients who are palliative or end-of-life; a support for a delivering mother; a parent/guardian of a child; or, a caregiver deemed essential for an individual with a specific need, at the discretion of the care team). Other actions, including the strict enforcement of appropriate personal protective equipment at all times, the closure of the Main Street Bistro to visitors, the stopping of self-service within the cafeteria for staff/physicians and the temporary postponement of in-person education will all continue for the time being.

There remain no changes to service delivery at NHH, and the hospital is safe to attend for care as required.
As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise within the community and the province, vigilance with the following is advised:

• Maintain physical distance from others outside your immediate household (6 feet or 2 metres)

• Wear a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge, not possible or required (for information on how to put on, remove and clean a non-medical face mask, see Health Canada recommendations here).

• Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Always wash your hands before eating or drinking, after using the washroom, if your hands become visibly dirty and before and after you put on and take off a face mask

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

Download COVID Alert, the made-in-Ontario app that will alert users if they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Apple users may download here, Android users go here

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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