As Kahnawake elders prepare for their COVID-19 booster dose, hospital staff are ramping up efforts to mitigate an outbreak declared on November 1.
After a patient and a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 early this month, management at the Kateri Memorial Hospital Center (KMHC) took immediate action to ensure no additional patients or staff would become infected.
“Today, all of the patients are healthy and well,” reassured KMHC executive director Lisa Westaway, adding that the Inpatient Care resident previously infected had since returned to her room.
However, following an interruption to visits for units one and two, along with increased screenings every third day for concerned patients and employees, a new case was identified on November 11.
The confirmation of a new infection among the centre’s employees led to an extension of the no-visitor policy, as well as the launch of a contact tracing operation by the hospital and Kahnawake’s Public Safety division.
“We can’t say 100 percent that this case is related to the last two and because we can’t identify the source, we have to act with caution and make the assumption that it is related,” explained the hospital director.
“This is the safest thing to do, as we don’t want to have more cases, and we certainly don’t want any additional patients to get COVID-19.”
So as long as testing continues to be negative for patients and staff, regular visits are expected to resume within the next week.
Laurence Brisson Dubreuil, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door