News release – from Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital
A COVID-19 outbreak on the hospital’s primary medical unit ended today.
In consultation with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU), OSMH declared an outbreak on its 33-bed Soldiers’ One unit on December 1st after four patients tested positive for the virus. The Outbreak Management Team responded quickly, quarantining and testing all other patients on the unit, and closing it to visiting and new admissions. All staff on the unit were also tested multiple times and monitored for symptoms.
Having successfully passed through the mandatory 14-day window without any new cases, the outbreak was declared over on Friday.
“Containing the outbreak to the original four patients and having zero transmission to staff are significant accomplishments,” said Carmine Stumpo, OSMH President and CEO.
“It not only speaks to the expertise of our team members to manage these types of situations, but also to the importance of all the pandemic precautions we put in place for the safety of staff, patients and visitors.”
Closing the unit off to new admissions during the outbreak meant some patients spend a longer time in the Emergency Department waiting for an appropriate bed to become available elsewhere in the hospital.
“I appreciate the community’s patience and understanding,” said Stumpo who explained that the flow of patients improved midway through the outbreak thanks to the creativity of staff. With the hospital operating at over 100% capacity, our team quickly converted a rehabilitation gym into patient care unit to maintain access to inpatient care.”
This was the first time during the pandemic that OSMH has had to declare a COVID-19 outbreak. While the outbreak is over, the hospital still maintains a strict Essential Visiting Policy.