New COVID-19 outbreak at Simcoe hospital

·2 min read

Norfolk General Hospital in Simcoe is grappling with a new COVID-19 outbreak.

In an email Saturday afternoon, the hospital announced that nine patients on the third-floor medical/surgical unit have tested positive for the virus.

Patients are self-isolating and visitation has been restricted to approved essential care providers.

This outbreak comes two weeks after five patients in the hospital’s complex care unit tested positive for COVID-19.

The latest hospital outbreak is one of seven reported by the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, a list that includes two long-term-care homes, a farm, and four unspecified congregate settings.

An update from the health unit on Monday had 11 Haldimand-Norfolk residents hospitalized with COVID-19, with two in the intensive care unit.

On Friday, Norfolk General announced the closure of its COVID-19 testing centre, which had been a go-to location for PCR testing in the community since opening in October 2020.

The hospital reports having processed 19,635 COVID-19 tests during the centre’s 18 months in operation.

In Haldimand-Norfolk, residents who are eligible for a PCR test are now limited to the Roulston’s Pharmacy in Simcoe and West Haldimand General Hospital in Hagersville.

Norfolk General’s COVID-19 vaccination centre remains open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Slightly more than 18 per cent of the population in Haldimand-Norfolk has not received any doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 14.1 per cent provincewide.

After a sharp decline where local weekly vaccinations fell from over 7,600 in early January to 191 the week of March 28, the first two weeks of April saw 706 and 1,900 doses administered, respectively.

Nicholas Dushenko, a program manager of infectious disease with the health unit who is leading the vaccine rollout, told The Spectator “the uptick in COVID-19 vaccine uptake is due to the recent eligibility expansion for fourth doses to make one up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines.”

J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator

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