COVID-19 outbreak declared at Georgian Bay General Hospital

All visitation to the hospital has been restricted with the exception of special circumstances

All visitation to Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) has been restricted due to a COVID-19 outbreak. There are exceptions to the rule for special circumstances such as palliative and the birthing unit.

The outbreak is on the 2 North inpatient unit. On Thursday, Dec. 3, one admitted patient and one staff member were confirmed positive for COVID-19. The hospital says contact tracing is currently underway to determine the origin of the infection and the risk of exposure among staff and patients.

“GBGH is working closely with public health to manage and control this outbreak so we can declare it over as soon as possible with limited transmission,” says Dr. Dan Lee, COVID medical lead an chief of Emergency Medicine at GBGH. “Our infection prevention and control measures have been very successful throughout the pandemic to date and our hospital has all the preventative measures in place to ensure the continued safety of our patients, staff and credentialed staff.”

Lee told Barrie 360 the usual protocols in place since the pandemic are being utilized right now.

“Anyone who has symptoms, which has been the same since the beginning, they’re not going to come to the hospital right now.”

Lee said they have done extensive contact tracing, and if there is any risk of exposure, we will make sure to address that with the staff and they would have to isolate as appropriate.

An outbreak like this is something all Ontario hospitals hope to avoid.

“Well, you always hope it doesn’t happen,” said Lee. “But it does happen. I think the Ontario health numbers yesterday (Friday) indicated there are 39 hospitals in total in the province that do have a current outbreak.”

He said the hope now is to identify this quickly and limit transmission, and hopefully get through this as quickly a possible.

The impacted unit is closed to new patient admissions for the duration of the outbreak. The patient has been relocated to GBGH’s dedicated COVID beds on the 2 East inpatient unit.

The hospital restrictions, according to Lee, return GBGH to a phase one level, which was in place at the beginning of the pandemic.