The City of Hamilton has declared an outbreak of the novel coronavirus at St. Joseph’s special care nursery on the Charlton campus after three workers tested positive for the virus.
In a release on Monday morning, Hamilton public health said two of the workers may have had limited or direct contact while caring for babies and families on the third floor of the Bishop Dowling Wing, next to the mother-baby unit.
“One of the healthcare workers had no direct contact with patients and families, while the other two had either limited contact or contact while wearing a protective mask. They were not symptomatic while caring for the babies or family,” the city said in a statement.
Public health confirmed it is circling back with babies, family members and staff/physicians who may have come into direct contact with the positive health-care workers.
They also say, at present, there are no babies or parents in the unit that are symptomatic.
Staff at St. Joe’s say they have moved infants who may have been exposed to another location in the hospital and are beginning a deep cleaning of the unit.
The nursery is still accepting babies born at the hospital that require care, according to public health.
As of Sunday, there are 155 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hamilton. Fifty-eight of Hamilton’s cases have been resolved.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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