British Columbia

COVID-19 outbreak at St. Paul's Hospital spreads to 3 units

The COVID-19 outbreak at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver has now been confirmed in three units.

All units belong to the hospital's heart centre, which is no longer accepting new patients

St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver on Jan. 5, when the first outbreak in a heart centre unit was declared. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

A COVID-19 outbreak at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver has spread to three units.

Last week, officials declared an outbreak in Unit 5A of the heart centre. Now, outbreaks have also been reported in unit 5B and the cardiac surgery intensive care unit (CSICU), according to an internal memo from Providence Health Care obtained by CBC News.

The units are all part of the heart centre, where the hospital provides treatment including surgery, transplants and rehabilitation, according to the St. Paul's website.

All three units are closed to new admissions and transfers, said Providence Health Care.

"All visitation has been suspended until the outbreak measures have been lifted; the exception being for compassionate visits at the end of life," it said in the memo.

The outbreak won't affect patient care or services within the units, it said.

Staff testing and additional swabbing clinics are being conducted.

"We continue to ask our staff to remain vigilant and immediately self-isolate and report any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection," the memo said.

St. Paul's Hospital has been the site of several COVID-19 outbreaks since the pandemic began, including in the Urban Health Unit in September and in the neo-natal care unit this summer. 

As of Monday morning, there are 6,118 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C. and 358 people in hospital.

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