An air ambulance leaves West Coast General Hospital for a trauma centre at 9:50 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12 after a Port Alberni youth was injured in an accident on the Somass River. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

COVID-19 outbreak hits West Coast General Hospital

One unit closed; emergency department still open

Island Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at West Coast General Hospital (WCGH) in Port Alberni after evidence of transmission in the medical-surgical B-wing.

One staff member and one patient have tested positive for COVID-19 to date, according to Island Health. The outbreak is limited to one unit, which is currently closed to admissions and visitors. The emergency department and the rest of the hospital remain open and there has been no impact to other areas of the hospital at this time.

Upon declaring the outbreak, Island Health immediately implemented precautions, including enhanced cleaning and contact tracing to protect the health of all staff, medical staff and patients, according to a press release issued Tuesday night, Dec. 1.

Island Health has implemented comprehensive strategies to prevent and respond to COVID-19 in all acute and long-term care facilities. Dedicated COVID-19 units are established at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and Royal Jubilee Hospital to safely care for patients with COVID-19.

Island Health has informed all patients on the WCGH unit and all patients are being tested. In addition, Island Health is in the process of informing families of patients who are unable to share information of the outbreak.

“We would like to reassure the community that WCGH remains open and ready to provide safe care,” and Island Health spokesperson said.

“The outbreak is contained to one unit and there is no need for people to cancel scheduled appointments or to avoid care. If you require emergency care, please do not hesitate to visit the emergency room immediately.”

For more information about COVID-19, please visit: www.islandhealth.ca/covid19.

CoronavirusIsland HealthPort Alberni