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Saint-Eustache hospital remains open amid COVID-19 outbreak

In this file photo, a healthcare professional adjusts her mask during a demonstration of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) procedures. All employees of the Saint-Eustache hospital in the Laurentians region of Quebec are being tested for COVID-19 after an outbreak at the facility. Friday, July 31, 2020.
In this file photo, a healthcare professional adjusts her mask during a demonstration of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) procedures. All employees of the Saint-Eustache hospital in the Laurentians region of Quebec are being tested for COVID-19 after an outbreak at the facility. Friday, July 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Quebec’s Laurentian Regional Health Authority (CISSS des Laurentides), confirmed Thursday the Saint-Eustache hospital is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak in three of its 13 in-patient units.

Health officials say since July 27, 14 patients and 11 staff have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Infected patients have been transferred to other health facilities in the region with designated red zones equipped to treat COVID-19 patients.

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Employees who tested positive have been asked to stay home until they have recovered and are being replaced.

The CISSS said the hospital remains open, but “heightened protection measures” are in place to contain the spread of the virus.

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That includes suspending visitor access to affected units until further notice, although exemptions for humanitarian reasons may be granted, especially when it comes to palliative care patients and children.

Despite setbacks, Quebec to ease more restrictions
Despite setbacks, Quebec to ease more restrictions

Additionally, patients are being monitored for symptoms more frequently and cleaning and disinfection procedures have been stepped-up.

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As of Friday, a mass screening initiative is underway to test all hospital employees for the virus.

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The CISSS is reminding people of the importance of following public health guidelines to contain and limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“I am appealing to everyone who goes to our installations, be it our hospitals, CLSCs, rehabilitation centres or residential long-term care facilities (CHSLDs). Protective measures such as mask-wearing, handwashing and two-metre physical distancing must be rigorously respected,” said Rosemonde Landry, president and executive director of the CISSS des Laurentides, in a written statement.

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“Compliance will be fundamental in helping us defeat this invisible enemy. We cannot let up.”