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‘Situation is worrying’: Lakeshore General Hospital grapples with multiple COVID-19 outbreaks

Health authorities say there are confirmed outbreaks of COVID-19 in four units of the Lakeshore General Hospital and a possible outbreak in the emergency department is under investigation. Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. Global News/Files

The COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the Lakeshore General Hospital in Pointe-Claire continues to be cause for concern.

Last Friday stretcher occupancy rates in the emergency department reached 132 per cent, resulting in health authorities asking the public to avoid the ER in a bid to ease pressure on both the ER and the hospital’s clinical teams.

Almost one week later, occupancy rates have dropped slightly to 112 per cent, with 35 beds out of 31 occupied.

Not only is the ER at full capacity, but the hospital, which is designated to treat COVID-19 patients, is dealing with confirmed outbreaks in four units, on top of dealing with staff shortages.

Read more: Quebec’s COVID-19 surge puts pressure on hospitals as some experts call for temporary lockdown

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A possible outbreak in the ER has yet to be confirmed but is under investigation, according to the CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, the regional health board that oversees the hospital.

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As of Thursday, a spokesperson for the CIUSSS said 27 employees and 43 patients were infected with COVID-19.

The source of the outbreaks isn’t clear either.

Read more: Lakeshore General Hospital’s emergency department in ‘critical’ condition: union

“Community transmission is rife and it is difficult to determine whether employees or patients are the cause of these outbreaks,” said CIUSSS spokesperson Hélène Bergeron-Gamache.

“We recognize that the situation is worrying and we are leveraging the expertise of professionals to curb the spread of COVID-19 and to support the teams at Lakeshore General Hospital.”

Gamache explained the hospital is following public health guidelines in regards to the wearing of personal protective equipment and that it has the necessary medical equipment to provide care in a safe manner.

Additionally, Gamache noted that six samples to test the environment carried out in the last few days had all come back negative.

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