Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)

COVID-19 outbreak at Nanaimo hospital appears to be contained, says Island Health

Chief medical health officer urges patients to meet scheduled appointments

Patients can be comfortable meeting appointments at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, says Island Health’s top doctor.

Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health chief medical health officer, said at a press conference today that since the outbreak was announced Saturday, all COVID-19 tests of NRGH staff and patients have come back negative.

Island Health declared the outbreak Jan. 23, the second at NRGH since the beginning of the pandemic, after two staff members and one patient in the east wing of the hospital’s fourth floor tested positive for COVID-19 between Jan. 19-23.

“Our emergency services and all the other services that Nanaimo provides are open and functioning,” said Stanwick. “It does appear at this point in time it is limited to that area, so if you’ve got a surgery or you need medical imaging and you’re scheduled, go for those appointments, Nanaimo has it contained.”

The doctor said NRGH staff have built on their experience from the previous COVID-19 outbreak in November and are “aware of the infection control measures that are needed to contain it.”

NRGH is one of two COVID-unit hospitals in Island Health. It is one of 10 acute-care facilities in B.C. with current outbreaks.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry released a joint statement Wednesday, noting that there were 485 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. since Tuesday, with 45 of the new cases on Vancouver Island. Island Health says there are 204 active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island, with 153 of those cases on the central Island. There are four COVID-19 patients in intensive care in Island Health and 16 others hospitalized, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

READ ALSO: B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

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