Ottawa

Cancer patient who feared getting COVID-19 in Ottawa hospital has tested positive

An Ottawa cancer patient who spoke out about being "terrified" he would contract COVID-19 in hospital has now tested positive.

Adrian Lloyd was set to return home but positive test means more time in hospital

Adrian Lloyd, who has Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, tested positive on Dec. 2 for COVID-19 after contracting the illness at the General campus of The Ottawa Hospital. (Submitted by Adrian Lloyd)

An Ottawa cancer patient who spoke out about being "terrified" he would contract COVID-19 in hospital after sharing a room with a positive patient, has now tested positive.

Adrian Lloyd, 52, was notified Nov. 26 that one of his roommates at The Ottawa Hospital's General campus contracted the illness. It was the same day Ottawa Public Health declared an outbreak on his ward, 5E.

On Wednesday, Lloyd's own fears were realized when he himself tested positive following an earlier negative result.

"I am afraid and also angry," said Lloyd by phone after learning he has COVID-19.

"Hospitals are supposed to be a safe place and this is why there's been several times, I've had fevers and things, and haven't come into the hospital."

In a statement to CBC News, The Ottawa Hospital said patient safety is a top priority. 

"When a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in hospital, all appropriate infection prevention and control protocols are diligently followed. This includes strict contact tracing and monitoring of all patients for symptoms," said a spokesperson for the hospital.

"Any patients who test positive for COVID-19 are immediately placed on a COVID-19 cohort unit. The hospital also has auditing practices in place to ensure that these infection prevention and control protocols are maintained. Staff will continue following these protocols, in order to keep everyone safe."

Roommate should have been 'whisked off'

Lloyd has Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and was admitted to hospital nearly two weeks ago after he developed a fever while undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

During his stay, Lloyd said he shared a room with a man whose bed was less than six feet away from his, coughed continuously at night and was not told to wear a mask.  

"As soon as he started coughing like that he should have been whisked off to a private room," said Lloyd, who believes he got COVID-19 from the roommate.

A file photo of a medical worker examining a COVID-19 test. The Ottawa Hospital says its top priority is patient safety and as soon as patients test positive for COVID-19 they are moved into a separate ward for coronavirus patients. (Eduardo Verdugo/AP)

As of Wednesday, six patients and two staff members have tested positive as part of the ongoing outbreak on ward 5E. One of the patients who tested positive has died, according to Ottawa Public Health.

Lloyd, who was supposed to be released from hospital by now, said Thursday must stay in a COVID-19 ward for 20 days while he recovers.

So far, his symptoms are mild but he worries they may worsen.

"At nighttime sometimes, I'll have a bit of a dry cough but I keep telling myself it's because the air here is very dry," he said. 

About the Author

Laura Glowacki is a reporter based in Ottawa. Previously, she worked as a reporter in Winnipeg and as an associate producer for CBC's Metro Morning in Toronto. Find her on Twitter @glowackiCBC and reach her by email at laura.glowacki@cbc.ca.

with files from CBC's Hillary Johnstone

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