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COVID-19 outbreak declared at RVH in Barrie, Ont.

As of Saturday, seven patients at the hospital's integrated stroke and rehabilitation unit and two staff members have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. File

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at the integrated stroke and rehabilitation unit of the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) in Barrie, Ont., with seven patients and two staff members testing positive for the virus as of Saturday.

The two staff members are self-isolating at home and the affected patients recently received care in one section of the 40-bed integrated stroke and rehabilitation unit.

Read more: 1 Georgian Bay hospital unit still under COVID-19 outbreak as staff begin to receive vaccine

RVH says all patients in the unit have been swab tested for the novel coronavirus, are isolating in their rooms and are being monitored for symptoms. All of the unit’s patients are also on droplet/contact isolation and will be re-tested within the next week or earlier if they develop COVID-19 symptoms.

“The health and safety of staff, physicians, patients and our community remains our top priority and we are working closely with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit and our occupational health and wellness team to conduct a full contact tracing investigation to determine the source of the exposure,” RVH president and CEO Janice Skot said in a statement.

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The hospital says patients who were previously discharged from its integrated stroke and rehabilitation unit will be contacted by public health and advised to self-isolate at home.

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The integrated stroke and rehabilitation unit is currently closed to new admissions and transfers.

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RVH has implemented its outbreak protocol, which includes enhanced cleaning, surveillance, education and frequent communication to patients.

All staff who recently provided care in RVH’s integrated stoke and rehabilitation unit will also be tested for the novel coronavirus as a precaution.

Read more: Ontario government defends rollout of COVID-19 vaccines amid criticism

RVH is currently treating 37 COVID-19-positive patients, a record high at the hospital. To increase capacity, RVH has opened another patient care unit for COVID-19-positive and pending patients.

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Visitors are currently restricted at RVH and will be permitted based on “compassionate” grounds only.

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