COVID-19 outbreak declared in respiratory unit at Vancouver hospital

A health-care worker is seen making his way into the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver Monday, March 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 in one unit at Vancouver General Hospital.

The health authority said patients in T12A, the respiratory unit, have tested positive for the coronavirus.

VCH said in an information bulletin that the unit has been closed to new admissions and transfers. Visits, except for compassionate visits at the end of life, are suspended.

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The impact on the rest of the hospital is limited, VCH said, and Vancouver General Hospital will continue to accept individuals needing urgent or emergency care.

“Please do not delay in seeking care as this could exacerbate your condition,” the health authority said in a statement.

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“Vancouver General Hospital will continue to admit for all patient populations and this outbreak will not impact the care of patients with respiratory diseases, including transplant patients or others that require specialized care.”

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VCH said strict infection prevention and control protocols have been put in place.

The health authority said it’s in the process of notifying patients in the affected unit and their families.

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