So far, patients are “experiencing mild illness” amid a COVID-19 outbreak declared at one unit of Victoria General Hospital, according to Island Health.
A respiratory illness outbreak was declared on unit 6C at VGH on Oct. 3, Island Health confirmed in a written statement. There are currently 11 health-care-acquired cases attributed to the outbreak, with eight active cases on the unit as of Wednesday morning.
“As expected, COVID-19 continues to circulate in the community, the rate of transmission continues to fluctuate, and the virus continues to adapt. Fortunately, thanks to our immunization efforts and previous infections, we have high population immunity,” the statement reads.
“It is important to note, the outbreak declaration is limited to this unit. No other areas of the site are affected by this outbreak, VGH remains a safe place to seek care, and people should not avoid seeking emergency care or attending appointments.”
Coincidentally, (Tuesday) Oct. 3 marked the start of masking in health-care facilities across the province.
“An increase in hospital visits with the fall respiratory illness season requires measures to ensure our acute care is effective and our health-care system is strong, and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said when announcing the measures late last month.
Island Health ambassadors will be on hand to provide medical masks and direct visitors to hand hygiene stations.
“The measures implemented in facilities with COVID-19 activity have been updated throughout the past three-plus years, based on the nature of the strains circulating, the level of vaccine coverage and the risk posed to patients and residents,” the statement reads.
Island Health follows provincial guidance for the declaration and management of respiratory illness outbreaks.
Standard outbreak response includes enhanced cleaning and staffing levels to support infection prevention and control protocols; support and presence from infection prevention and control experts; signage; and communications with staff about the outbreak.
The list at inspections.myhealthdepartment.com/island-health/program-outbreak is updated daily with facilities removed when an illness outbreak is over.