COVID-19 cases growing among London hospital workers as Omicron rages

·2 min read

COVID-19 cases among employees at London's largest hospital have now nearly tripled from levels recorded nearly a week ago.

London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) now has 152 staff, or roughly one per cent of its 15,000 employees, who have tested positive for the virus, up from 104 reported Tuesday.

"This amounts approximately to one per cent of our workforce," Carol Young-Ritchie, executive vice president and chief nursing executive at LHSC, said in a statement Saturday. "These positive staff cases are reflective of the widespread transmission of the COVID-19 virus in our community."

The number of hospital staff with COVID-19 is expected to be updated again Tuesday.

LHSC is closely monitoring the situation and working to "strategically plan out the coming weeks, recognizing this is a constantly evolving situation," Young-Ritchie said.

Officials did provide any details about what the upcoming plans might entail.

LHSC had 28 COVID-19 patients in hospital Friday, including nine adults in intensive care. Fewer than five patients were being treated at Children's Hospital. There were no patients in the pediatric unit.

St. Joseph’s Health Care London recorded 56 COVID-19 infections among staff Thursday, more than double the number of cases reported just four days earlier, the latest figures on its website show.

The rising numbers of COVID-infected hospital employees come amid the provincewide surge of Omicron, a highly contagious new strain of the virus that's driven Ontario and the London area's daily case counts to record heights in recent days.

Ontario recorded nearly 18,500 new cases of the virus on Saturday. In the London area, new infections hit a record 638 cases Friday, the latest day for which statistics are available.

Many health observers believe the actual number of new infections amid the Omicron wave is likely much higher, with testing unable to keep up with the spread of the variant.

- The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada

Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press

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