Island Health has identified four additional cases of COVID-19 connected to the outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital.
According to a press release sent out by Island Health on Thursday evening, one patient and three staff members have tested positive for the virus, which brings the total number of cases to six patients and four staff.
“It is a concern in the small community, yes, and a lot of elderly people on the peninsula,” one resident of the area told CHEK News.
Island Health declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital on December 1. The health authority said that immediate action was taken, including enhanced cleaning and contact tracing to protect the health of all patients, staff and medical staff.
Island Health says the initial round of patient testing is completed and staff testing continues.
Health officials with the regional authority also note that the outbreak is limited to acute care areas.
“It is still confined as far as we’re aware and they are doing additional testing of anybody who was in that area, so the hospital remains closed to admissions,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry during a press conference on Thursday.
Outpatient services, including lab and medical imaging, remain open, however, according to Island Health.
“We would like to reassure the community that the emergency department remains open and ready to provide safe care. If you require emergency care, please do not hesitate to visit the emergency room immediately,” a statement from Island Health confirms.
The health authority says that it has implemented comprehensive strategies to prevent and respond to COVID-19 in all acute and long-term care facilities, including Saanich Peninsula Hospital, and that dedicated COVID-19 units are established at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and Royal Jubilee Hospital to safely care for patients with COVID-19.
Officials with Island Health were unable to confirm whether or not the four additional cases were encompassed in the 10 new cases announced in the region by Dr. Henry on Thursday.