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COVID-19 outbreak declared at SickKids Hospital after more positive tests confirmed
Published Tuesday, April 28, 2020 6:05PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 28, 2020 9:38PM EDT
The president and CEO of SickKids Hospital says the facility is officially dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 after an employee and the parents of a patient infected with the virus tested positive for the respiratory illness.
The hospital confirmed Monday that a teenage patient tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, prompting staff to test all other patients within the same unit.
While those results came back negative, Ronald Cohn, the president and CEO of SickKids, confirmed in a statement that a member of the care team and the patient’s parents have now contracted the virus.
“As a result of this, Toronto Public Health later today will include Unit 8B on its public outbreak list,” Cohn’s statement read, noting that the definition of an outbreak “has a very low threshold.”
“In many respects, we have been fortunate that children have not been severely impacted, and for over six weeks we have kept the virus from impacting our organization – this is a testament to your vigilance around physical distancing and handwashing,” the statement continued.
Cohn said as soon as a staff member tested positive for the virus, teams “came together to mobilize a response” and put enhanced infection prevention and control measures in place.
“All patients on the unit were tested and the results were negative for COVID-19. Out of an abundance of caution, we expanded our testing of staff and family caregivers on the unit,” the statement continued.
A second patient, who is not related to the outbreak on 8B, has also tested positive, Cohn said.
“The patient arrived yesterday and is now in an isolation room and is stable. Our Infection Prevention and Control, Infectious Diseases and Occupational Health experts are working with Toronto Public Health. Anyone who may have been affected will be contacted directly,” the statement noted.
“At this time, we continue to believe the risk to patients, families and staff at SickKids remains low.”