A COVID-19 outbreak has been officially declared at Hawkesbury and District General Hospital (HGH).

According to the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), the outbreak is in an inpatient area of the hospital’s east wing.

EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said on Thursday, March 18 that three individuals had tested positive as of that time.

“The safety and wellbeing of our patients, their families, our team members and their loved ones are paramount to us. We continue to monitor patients for symptoms of COVID-19,” read a statement on the HGH website.

Roumeliotis said that the EOHU is working with HGH on outbreak management efforts.

All patients in the inpatient unit in question are isolated and are being screened for COVID-19. All hospital staff who may have been exposed to COVID-19 have been notified and everyone is following the appropriate procedures. A no-visitors policy remains in effect.

The Ontario Ministry of Health has defined a COVID-19 outbreak in a public hospital as two or more laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases (patients and/or staff) within a specified area (unit/floor/service) within a 14-day period where both cases could have reasonably* acquired their infection in the hospital.

Examples of an individual reasonably having acquired COVID-19 infection in a hospital include there being obvious source of infection outside of the hospital, or if a patient had been admitted for 5 or more days before symptom onset, which is based on the median incubation period of the virus.

Patients who were admitted to the hospital during the period in question will be contacted by the Eastern Ontario Public Health Unit. COVID-19 testing is not required for patients that have used HGH services in ambulatory clinics, surgery, emergency, medical imaging, etc. Please contact Patient Relations at 613-632-1111, ext. 51702 or email [email protected] for any additional enquiries.