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Toronto Western Hospital declares COVID-19 outbreak in fifth unit

Last Updated May 10, 2020 at 9:03 am EST

Exterior view of Toronto Western Hospital. GOOGLE

Another outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at Toronto Western Hospital.

A spokesperson says the outbreak was declared in a unit of the hospital that had been designated as COVID negative.

Gillian Howard says the new positive cases were not surprising as the hospital had begun mass testing of all patients and staff since last week.

“We declare an outbreak when one individual patient tests positive,” said Howard. “The outbreak initiates a deep clean of all areas of the unit and testing for all patients and staff.”

The hospital says 83 staff members across the University Health Network have tested positive for coronavirus since January 2020 with about half of those coming since outbreaks were declared on five separate units. However, the hospital did not say how many active cases they are currently dealing with.

Back on May 5, the hospital said 19 patients and 46 staff members had tested positive and that two patients had died.

“As far as we are aware, we are doing the most testing of any hospital in the country at present,” said Howard, who noted that the rate of positive cases among staff is below 3 per cent.

The hospital says effective immediately, all staff – regardless of whether they work in a clincial area – should wear masks at all times except for eating and drinking and everyone is reminded to wear PPE appropriately, practice social distancing and good hand hygiene.

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