Burnaby Hospital reopens emergency department after fire, amid COVID-19 outbreak

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      It’s been a tough time for a Metro Vancouver hospital which has had to contend not only with a COVID-19 outbreak but also a fire.

      Fraser Health announced on November 16 that a fire broke out in the Cascade building at Burnaby Hospital around 10:15 p.m. on November 15, which affected several areas of the hospital.

      Luckily, all patients and staff, who were evacuated, remained safe and unharmed by the fire, which the Burnaby Fire Department responded to with 17 fire trucks and 58 firefighters, according to reports.

      However, due to the affected air quality, 18 patients were transferred to other hospitals in the Fraser Health region.

      The emergency department of the hospital had been temporarily closed, with those needing urgent care redirected to neighbouring emergency departments. 

      At 8:30 p.m. on November 16, Fraser Health announced that the emergency department had reopened to walk-in patients who are able to return home after treatment.

      Although initial reports stated the the cause of the fire was electrical, the source has since been said to remain undetermined. CBC News reported that the fire originated on the second floor of the north wing.

      General admissions to the hospital have not yet resumed.

      On November 10, Fraser Health had announced an outbreak at Burnaby Hospital after five patients in a medicine unit tested positive. The unit was closed to admissions. Other areas of the hospital remained unaffected.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.