Montreal's Douglas Hospital battles COVID-19 outbreak

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About 20 patients at Montreal's Douglas Mental Health University Institute have contracted COVID-19 in the past week.

The first case of COVID-19 at the Douglas Institute dates back to Jan. 15, and nine other cases were recorded the next day.

On Thursday, an additional 13 patients tested positive.

Patients and staff of the affected unit have all been tested and infection control measures have been enhanced, said Hélène Bergeron-Gamache, a spokesperson for the local public health authority, the CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal.

"Fortunately, the majority of patients are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms," she said.

Bergeron-Gamache said visits are temporarily suspended in the unit concerned, and even the family of staff will need to be tested.

The Douglas is designated to receive COVID-19 patients, she said.

This is not the first time there has been an outbreak at the facility. Back in April, a total of 16 patients and 22 employees tested positive for the disease, the CIUSSS said at the time.