COVID-19 outbreak at Joseph Brant Hospital spreads, 2 patients die

A COVID-19 outbreak at Burlington’s Joseph Brant Hospital has become bigger and has now resulted in two deaths.

In a release issued on Friday afternoon, the hospital said the outbreak has expanded from one medicine inpatient unit to a second on 3 North 700 (3N700) after a health-care worker and two patients tested positive for the virus.

Read more: COVID-19 outbreak declared at Burlington’s Joseph Brant Hospital inpatient unit

The outbreak, which was initially declared on Nov. 18 on 7 South 100 (7S100), has now spread to a total of four health-care workers and six patients.

Two of those patients have died.

The hospital says its infection prevention and control team is working closely with Halton Public Health to contact and test anyone who might have been exposed to those infected.

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No information has been released about how COVID-19 was able to spread from one inpatient unit to another, but the hospital said both units are being deep cleaned on a daily basis and are closed to visitors with very limited exceptions.

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Any patients who are showing COVID-19 symptoms like fever, cough, and shortness of breath are being tested immediately.

Read more: Burlington’s mayor asks residents of locked down areas to stay in their regions

Officials with the hospital are expressing concern about an increase in patients cancelling or delaying their medical procedures amid the outbreak.

In a video posted online last Friday, chief of staff Dr. Ian Preyra highlighted the measures the hospital has taken in response to the outbreak and urged patients not to cancel their appointments.

“JBH continues to perform safe surgical and outpatient care, including urgent life-saving procedures and other emergency care to meet the health-care needs of the community,” said Preyra. “Cancelling or delaying a medical procedure could pose a serious risk to your health.”

Halton public health reported new 101 cases of COVID-19 in the region on Friday, with 689 active cases – 123 of which are in Burlington.

There have been 60 deaths linked to coronavirus in the region, and a total of 3,570 cases since the pandemic began.

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