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'Precautionary' outbreak declared for University Hospital of Northern BC's Family Medicine Unit

Outbreak in place until Dec. 16, two weeks following any potential exposure
University Hospital of Northern BC in Prince George. (via Kyle Balzer, PrinceGeorgeMatters)

Lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been detected among staff in Prince George's local hospital, but the regional authority says they're all 'unrelated.'

As a result, the Family Medicine Unit in University Hospital of Northern BC (UHNBC) has been placed on a 'precautionary' outbreak, enhanced safety protocols are in effect and will remain in place until Dec. 16, which is two weeks after any potential exposure may have happened.

Northern Health says there's currently no evidence of ongoing transmission as enhanced control measures are also being put in effect.

The staff impacted by the virus may have worked during their infection period, the authority adds, and in 'some hospitalized patients.' 

"NH care facilities have implemented very clear policies and procedures for COVID-19 infection prevention and control, and the risk of transmission to patients, staff and physicians at UHNBC is considered low," a news release states this afternoon (Dec. 3).

The announcement comes moments after a similar 'precautionary' outbreak was declared at the Gateway Lodge assisted-living residence on 20th Avenue.

In this instance, a single staff member tested positive for the virus, but there's also no evidence of ongoing transmission

Northern Health says its closely monitoring for additional cases, and is taking steps to protect the health of staff and those they care for, with enhanced outbreak precautions such as:

  • Cleaning and infection control measures have been enhanced
  • Enhanced symptom monitoring among all UHNBC staff and patients

If there is still no evidence of transmission of illness after that time, Northern Health says the outbreak will then be declared over.

As of this publication, there have been 928 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in northern B.C.

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