An outbreak was declared on Nov. 13 by the Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit after two symptomatic staff tested positive for COVID-19. The health unit said 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, the health unit stated late Thursday afternoon.
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,” said Linda Davis, hospital CEO and president. “I want to thank these teams for their diligence, and our regional infectious disease experts for their valued advice.
“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, the hospital 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.
For the second day in a row, the health unit reported no new cases of COVID-19. There remains nine active cases among the health unit’s 275 since the pandemic was declared: Five in Northumberland County, three in the City of Kawartha Lakes and one in Haliburton County.
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