COVID-19: Outbreak declared on unit at Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared on a medical/surgical unit at Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg, Ont. Global News file

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared on a medical/surgical unit at Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg, Ont., hospital officials announced late Monday afternoon.

According to the hospital, three staff members on the hospital’s 2B medical/surgical unit have tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) has declared the unit to be in outbreak status.

The staff members are at home self-isolating, the hospital said.

“Our infection prevention and control team is working closely with counterparts at the HKPRDHU, and no patient spread has been identified at this time,” said Susan Walsh, the hospital’s president and CEO in a statement issued at 4:30 p.m. Monday.

“While the health unit initially declared the outbreak on both medical units(2A and 2B), on closer investigation of the cases involved we anticipate that the status will be updated to 2B shortly. We are taking every step possible to minimize opportunities for the transmission of COVID-19 inside the hospital and we thank everyone for their continued vigilance.”

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The hospital is testing any patients and other staff considered more at risk of exposure and all recently discharged patients from the 2B unit are being contacted and advised to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.

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New admissions to the 2B unit will be evaluated on an as-required basis in consultation with public health, the hospital said.

Beginning Monday, visitors to the 2B unit will be temporarily restricted until the outbreak is declared over.  Special exceptions for palliative patients will continue to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis

The hospital notes all staff and physicians are required to be fully vaccinated (two doses) and that booster vaccines have been “broadly distributed” during a series of in-hospital clinics.

Public notices have been placed at all hospital entrances advising of the outbreak.

The hospital remains fully operational and all other visitor restrictions remain in place.

The health unit has not updated its case data since Dec. 23 at which time it reported 173 active cases of COVID-19 in its jurisdiction including 95 cases in Northumberland County.

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