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COVID-19 outbreak prompts Northumberland Hills Hospital to postpone 20th anniversary events

Northumberland Hills Hospital reports a COVID-19 outbreak on two units, prompting a postponement of 20th anniversary events planned on Oct. 18, 2023. Global News Peterborough file

Events planned Wednesday to mark the 20th anniversary of Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg, Ont., have been postponed following a COVID-19 outbreak on two hospital units.

On Tuesday afternoon, the hospital and Northumberland County said anniversary events were postponed after health officials on Monday declared a COVID-19 outbreak on the inpatient rehabilitation unit (1A) and the restorative care unit (1B).

Visitation is not permitted on the units and no new admissions will be made on the units during the outbreak. Regular visitation to other units is still permitted. Masking guidelines remain in effect.

Hospital president and CEO Susan Walsh says the decision to postpone Wednesday’s events was made “out of an abundance of caution.” The now 137-bed hospital opened on Oct. 22, 2003 and serves more than 63,000 residents in Northumberland County.

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“While the event and tours would not have involved entry into care areas where patients were present, our Infection Prevention and Control team has agreed that this is not the right time to welcome large numbers into the building for a celebration,” said Walsh.

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“With our volunteer partners we were very much looking forward to marking this special milestone together with the community we serve. Out of an abundance of caution we will be pausing the public celebration at this time.”

Walsh says the anniversary working group thanks all staff, physicians, midwives, volunteers and community partners who helped to organize the anniversary events. Direct emails and phone calls are being made to individuals who registered for a tour. Staff and volunteers will be stationed at the hospital entrance on Wednesday to advise of the events’ postponements.

An alternate date for the open house and tours has yet to be scheduled.

“NHH is grateful for Northumberland’s interest in this community event, and we apologize for any inconvenience the postponement has caused,” said Walsh.

“As discussed with our Infection Prevention and Control leads, this outbreak serves as an important reminder that, while we have made positive strides in learning to live with the virus, COVID-19 remains in circulation.

“It is our collective responsibility to remain vigilant in protecting ourselves and the patients we serve.”

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