COVID-19 outbreaks at Oakville, Milton hospitals, 19 confirmed cases in Burlington facility


Published December 27, 2023 at 4:14 pm

It hasn’t got as much publicity as it did in previous years, but COVID-19 hasn’t gone away in Milton, Oakville and Burlington.

There are currently two outbreaks of COVID-19 at Halton Healthcare facilities: Milton District Hospital, 2 North Regional unit; and Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, 4 North units 1 and 2.

Masks must be worn on both units.

Burlington’s Joseph Brant Hospital doesn’t have any outbreaks posted, however they’re caring for 19 patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Here’s how Halton Healthcare defines and determines whether there’s an outbreak.

“Declaring an outbreak of any infectious disease (i.e. norovirus, COVID-19, influenza, etc.) allows us to put additional measures in place in order to prevent further transmission of the virus,” said a spokesperson.

The definition of an outbreak in a hospital is set by the Ontario Ministry of Health. Each outbreak has its own unique definition depending on the organism acquired.

Generally, an outbreak is declared when an unusual number of patients and/or staff within a specified area (unit/floor/service) are confirmed to have acquired an organism. The acquisition must also have happened within a certain period of time and is likely to have taken place in the hospital.

For example, a COVID-19 outbreak is declared when two or more patients and/or staff within a specified area (unit/floor/service) with confirmed COVID-19 have been identified within a 10 day period, where both cases likely were acquired in the hospital.

Declaring an outbreak is a joint decision made by the Halton Healthcare Outbreak Management team and Halton Public Health and is based on guidelines set by the Ontario Ministry of Health.

When an outbreak is declared enhanced control measures are implemented to prevent further transmission among patients and staff.

This includes:

  • Communication with patients, families, staff, physicians and volunteers
  • Thorough and enhanced ongoing cleaning
  • Testing of all patients and staff on the affected unit
  • Contact tracing for possible exposure of patients and staff
  • Closure of unit to new admissions and transfers
  • A review of all current processes
  • Restrict/limit visitors to the area of the outbreak

For more information about Halton Healthcare, visit here. For information about Joseph Brant Hospital, visit here.

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