Outbreak reported at Hamilton General Hospital emergency department; the 7th outbreak at HHS facility

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An outbreak has been reported in the Hamilton General Hospital’s emergency department, bringing the total number of active outbreaks in Hamilton Health Sciences facilities to seven, including four at the General.

According to the city’s public health department, the outbreak in the emergency department began on Friday, infecting four hospital staff. The same day, another outbreak unfolded in the General’s Short Stay Medicine Unit, where two patients tested positive for COVID-19.

Hamilton Health Sciences is already working to contain five other outbreaks, apart from the two recorded on Friday.

At an HHS satellite facility, nine residents and four staff have tested positive for the virus. The outbreak was declared on Jan. 6.

The facility, at the site of the former Crown Plaza Hotel at King Street East and Catherine Street, is a pop-up hospital intended to handle the overflow of patients stuck between care facilities due to rising COVID-19 cases.

Eight staff have also tested positive for the virus at the General Hospital’s Unit 5 West, while two residents and six staff have tested positive in Unit 7.

There are also two outbreaks at Juravinski Hospital.

In an outbreak in the F5 Unit at the Concession Street hospital, declared Dec. 3, 106 people have tested positive, including 53 patients, 51 staff members and two visitors. Nine people have died in the outbreak.

Eighteen people have tested positive at a second outbreak at the Mountain hospital, declared Jan. 1, in the E3 Unit. The outbreak has infected 13 patients, and five staff. One person has died.

In total, 159 people have tested positive in an outbreak at an HHS facility.

Jacob Lorinc, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator