KHSC declares fifth COVID-19 outbreak at KGH

Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) has notified the public of yet another COVID-19 outbreak in an individual unit at Kingston General Hospital (KGH).

On Tuesday, KHSC declared an outbreak on Connell 9 Unit at KGH, bringing the running total to five units impacted by ongoing outbreaks.

The hospital declared an outbreak just one day earlier on Kidd 6, adding to existing outbreaks on Connell 3, Davies 5, and Connell 10.

Six patients in the Connell 9 Unit have tested positive for COVID-19, and in its statement KHSC says any patients, visitors or staff who may have been affected by the outbreak have been contacted as contact tracing and testing for individuals on the unit has begun.

The unit, along with Davies 5 and Kidd 6, have been restricted to essential care partners only - meaning that only designated essential care providers who have been approved by the care team and who actively participate in a loved one's care are permitted on the unit for the time being.

Connell 3 and Connell 10 in the meantime are restricted to essential visitors, permitting visits within the unit from those with a loved one who is critically ill or nearing end of life.

In the community at large, Kingston currently has 349 high risk cases of COVID-19 according to KFL&A's COVID-19 case tracking, and there a 34 patients within KGH who currently have COVID-19, four of which are in the ICU.

With cases on the rise in many cities, it remains to be seen if any restrictions will be put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 and lessen the strain on hospitals.

In mid-October, Ontario's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore urged the public to get their booster shots and consider masking indoors and warned that a mask mandate could be reinstated to avoid an unmanageable surge of cases coming to hospital.

Dr. Moore says the "triple threat" of a particularly bad flu season, rising COVID-19 cases, and the resurgence of a childhood viral illness is causing strain on hospitals, and that a mask mandate during the winter months is not out of the question.

Owen Fullerton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, YGK News