COVID-19 outbreak at Burnaby Hospital: 55 patients and 44 staff test positive after fire

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      A COVID-19 outbreak at a Metro Vancouver hospital has led to approximately 100 cases potentially being linked.

      Fraser Health stated in a news release today that an outbreak in a medicine unit at Burnaby Hospital declared on November 10 has led to 55 patients testing positive and five people have died.

      In addition, 44 staff members who tested positive are under investigation to determine if they are connected to the outbreak.

      On November 10, Fraser Health had announced an outbreak at Burnaby Hospital after five patients in a medicine unit tested positive.

      The unit had been closed to admissions while other areas of the hospital remained unaffected.

      Unfortunately, what complicated matters was that a fire had broken out in the Cascade building at the hospital around 10:15 p.m. on November 15.

      Although no one was injured in the fire, 18 patients were transferred to other hospitals due to the air quality, and the fire did affect other parts of the hospital.

      Fraser Health stated that the response to fire is considered a contributing factor to the outbreak.

      “At the time of the fire, the immediate safety of our patients was our priority, which meant that some were moved to areas of the hospital they normally would not be placed in a short period of time,” Fraser Health explained.

      The emergency department had reopened on November 16 to patients who could return home after treatment.


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