Kingston General Hospital battles three COVID-19 outbreaks

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Kingston General Hospital battling three Covid-19 outbreaks
Three units at KGH are currently only allowing essential visitors to three of its units after declaring three ongoing Covid-19 outbreaks. – Oct 17, 2022

Kingston General Hospital has its hands full battling three ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks.

The latest was declared on Saturday, and has the hospital once again allowing only essential visitors to the affected in-patient units.

“There’s so much COVID outside the hospital walls, that of course, it’s going to get its way in,” says Dr. Gerald Evans, chair of infectious diseases at Queen’s University.

On Saturday, the hospital declared an outbreak on its Kidd 7 unit.

The announcement came just 24 hours after having declared an outbreak on the Connell 9 unit on Friday, all while the hospital continues to deal with an outbreak on the Connell 10 unit announced on Oct. 7.

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While Dr. Evans says many infections in the hospital stem from visitors to the facility, he adds that the city overall is seeing a COVID-19 increase.

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“Right now we still are seeing a rise in wastewater detection,” Dr. Evans says.

“We are still seeing a large number of outbreaks in settings outside the hospital, like other congregate settings, so those have begun to increase again a bit.”

According to Kingston Health Sciences Centre, in total there are 27 COVID-positive patients at the hospital all from within the region — 25 in acute care and two in intensive care.

KFL&A Public Health has also been notified about the outbreaks.

“KFL&A Public Health continues to see high levels of all respiratory activity, including COVID-19, though the growth rate may be slowing down,” says public health in a statement.

“We continue to assist our hospital partners during outbreaks by providing guidance and recommendations for outbreak management.”

But Dr. Evans doesn’t agree that the growth rate is slowing down.

“Are we hoping that there is going to be a reduction in the next little while? Absolutely we do,” he says.

“I don’t know that I would say there is a strong signal of that.”

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Only essential visitors are allowed at the three sites, which KHSC defines as “those with a loved one who is critically ill or nearing end of life”

While Dr. Evans says dealing with multiple outbreaks at the same time is challenging, that shouldn’t prevent people from seeking treatment at the hospital.

“It’s still a safe place to come,” he says.

“We are doing our best to keep all of these outbreaks, when they pop up, short and controlled well so that we can accomplish our mission.”

The health centre is completing contact tracing and testing for individuals on the unit, and asks everyone to help prevent the spread of the virus within the hospital by adhering to screening processes, masking requirements and visitor restrictions.

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