The COVID-19 outbreak was declared this (Friday) morning at GR Baker Hospital in Quesnel.
Northern Health Medical Health Officer Dr. Rakel Kling confirms that it is on the Inpatient Unit at the hospital.
“What that means is it includes the entire hospital except for our ICU area and our psychiatry and patient area, so other than those two parts of the hospital it includes all of the rest of the patient care areas.”
Two inpatients have tested positive for COVID-19, as well as two staff.
Kling says the outbreak doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t go to the hospital.
“For the most part it should’t have any impact for anybody trying to access the hospital, and absolutely please continue to access the hospital for any healthcare needs as usual. It’s very important to continue with that.”
Kling says it could impact visitors at the hospital.
“What it might mean is just that we’ve restricted visitor access to essential visitors only, so it might mean people trying to accompany perhaps a loved one to an appointment, or trying to go into the hospital to visit somebody in the hospital, that might not be allowed at this time.”
She says some enhanced outbreak control measures are now in place in the hospital.
“Some of the steps that were doing to deal with the outbreak is first of all really ramping up cleaning and our infection control measures, increasing the (PPE) Personal Protective Equipment that our healthcare workers use when on this inpatient unit, and increasing testing of staff and clients to try to see if there are any cases that we’re not aware of yet.”
As for how long she expects the outbreak to last, Kling says that depends.
“We usually wait for after 28 days after the last case has been found before we declare an outbreak over. So that’s the period of time in which we can be very, very, extremely sure that COVID isn’t hiding somewhere or incubating somewhere in a patient and exposing people.”
View more information on public exposures, school exposures, and facility or community outbreaks of COVID-19 within the Northern Health region.