PEI

COVID-19 outbreak closes Western Hospital to most new admissions

Health P.E.I. has declared a COVID-19 outbreak on the Western Hospital inpatient unit in Alberton.

The inpatient unit has been closed to general visitors

Brown sign outside brown brick hospital says "Western Hospital Outpatients, Visitors and Emergency Entrance".
The emergency department remains open. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Health P.E.I. has declared a COVID-19 outbreak on the Western Hospital inpatient unit in Alberton.

In an effort to contain the outbreak, visitation and new admissions have been severely limited.

The 25-bed inpatient unit is closed to general visitors. Patients will be allowed only one designated partner in care.

Christina Phillips, Community Hospitals West administrator, says staff are working closely with infection control experts to handle the situation.

"We do really recognise the impact that has to our patients and our families," she said. "It's very difficult for them and it's just a necessary step that we have to do in order to ensure that we're doing everything we can to contain the outbreak during this time."

The unit is closed to new admissions, with some rare exceptions that must be approved by the hospital's infection control expert. COVID-positive patients may be admitted, as may patients who have recently recovered from COVID.

"We have to provide care to our patients and that's something we take very seriously," said Phillips.

"We have our personal protective equipment, our staff are well trained in infection control practices, and we're prepared to do that."

The emergency department and collaborative emergency centre remain open.

Patients who would normally be admitted to Western Hospital inpatient unit will be cared for in available beds elsewhere.

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