An air ambulance leaves West Coast General Hospital for a trauma centre at 9:50 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12 after a Port Alberni youth was injured in an accident on the Somass River. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

COVID-19 outbreaks at pair of Vancouver Island Hospitals

Saanich Peninsula Hospital in Saanichton and West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni affected

COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported at two Vancouver Island hospitals.

Saanich Peninsula Hospital in Saanichton and West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni are the two facilities affected, according to Island Health.

West Coast General Hospital

Island Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at WCGH after evidence of transmission in the medical-surgical B-wing.

One staff member and one patient have tested positive for COVID-19 to date, according to Island Health. The outbreak is limited to one unit, which is currently closed to admissions and visitors. The emergency department and the rest of the hospital remain open and there has been no impact to other areas of the hospital at this time.

Island Health has informed all patients on the WCGH unit and all patients are being tested. In addition, Island Health is in the process of informing families of patients who are unable to share information of the outbreak.

“We would like to reassure the community that WCGH remains open and ready to provide safe care,” and Island Health spokesperson said.

“The outbreak is contained to one unit and there is no need for people to cancel scheduled appointments or to avoid care. If you require emergency care, please do not hesitate to visit the emergency room immediately.”

Saanich Peninsula Hospital

Also on Tuesday, Saanich Peninsula Hospital was added to Island Health’s list of COVID-19 outbreaks. After evidence of transmission was noted in acute care areas, one staff member and five patients tested positive, according to the health authority.

Island Health says the hospital’s emergency department, along with lab and medical imaging, remain open and are safe places to seek care.

Precautions have been implemented at the hospital including enhanced cleaning and contact tracing. Island Health says all staff and admitted patients are being tested and visitors are now limited.

Upon declaring the outbreak, Island Health immediately implemented precautions, including enhanced cleaning and contact tracing to protect the health of all staff, medical staff and patients.

Island Health says comprehensive strategies are in place to prevent and respond to COVID-19 in acute and long-term care facilities. There are dedicated COVID-19 units at Royal Jubilee Hospital and the Nanaimo Regional Hospital.

Recently identified individuals with COVID-19 are required to self-isolate in order to keep the risk to the community low.

As of Dec. 1, there are 60 active cases of the virus on southern Vancouver Island, 147 in central and 39 on northern Vancouver Island.

For more information about COVID-19, please visit: www.islandhealth.ca/covid19.

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