The Thunder Bay Health Science Centre has closed new admissions to its 1A Oncology unit, after declaring an outbreak of COVID-19.
The decision to declare or end an outbreak is made in collaboration with Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU), the hospital said in a release on its website.
The Ontario Ministry of Health has defined a COVID-19 outbreak in a public hospital as: Two or more laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases (patients and/or staff) within a specified area (unit/floor/service) within a 14-day period where both cases could have reasonably acquired their infection in the hospital.
The low threshold for declaring an outbreak ensures that outbreak management measures, including increased infection prevention and control practices, can be put in place swiftly to contain any further spread.
In collaboration with TBDHU, a thorough assessment of the situation is underway, including contact tracing, enhanced surveillance and testing activities. Anyone who is considered to be at risk will be notified.
As a precautionary measure, there will be no admissions to 1A Oncology until further notice. For the safety of all, Essential Care Partners will be limited to patients at end of life only while the investigation is ongoing. Additional measures may be taken as needed to manage this situation.
The remainder of the hospital remains open. “Anyone requiring urgent care should feel safe attending our Hospital or Emergency Department to access that care,” stated the website.