COVID-19: Outbreak declared at St. Paul's Hospital

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      Vancouver Coastal Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at St. Paul's Hospital.

      The announcement came in a Tuesday (January 5) news release that said an unspecified number of "patients" had tested positive for COVID-19 in Unit 5A in the hospital's Heart Centre.

      The unit has been closed to all admissions and transfers. Except for "compassionate vists for end of life", all visitation to the unit has been suspended, and patients and relatives are in the process of being notified of the outbreak and closure.

      The health agency said the outbreak has not affected other areas of the hospital, which is still open and accepting people in need of "urgent and emergent care".

      Vancouver Coastal Health said in the release that the following infection-control and -prevention protocols have also been established: careful monitoring of all workers, patients, doctors, and nurses; frequent disinfection of high-touch surfaces; cohorting of staff to affected areas; and self-monitoring or self-isolation of affected workers and doctors as part of contact tracing.