Fraser Health declared an outbreak of COVID-19 at Delta Hospital on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Fraser Health declared an outbreak of COVID-19 at Delta Hospital on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. (Grace Kennedy photo)

42 active cases in Delta Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

19 patients and 23 staff tested positive since Fraser Health declared the outbreak on Sept. 16

There have been 42 active cases associated with the COVID-19 outbreak at Delta Hospital as of Tuesday afternoon.

In an update provided Oct. 13, a spokesperson for Fraser Health confirmed there have been a total of 23 staff and 19 patient cases associated with the COVID-19 outbreak, up from 17 staff and 18 patients the week before.

No new deaths associated with the outbreak have been reported, leaving the total at seven.

“We continue to share our sincere condolences with those who have lost a loved one to COVID-19. Thank you to our staff and medical staff for their continued support in responding to this outbreak,” the health authority said in an emailed statement Tuesday afternoon.

Last week, Fraser Health announced that patients will not be admitted to Delta Hospital for the time being in order to further protect them from the risk of transmission of COVID-19, though the hospital’s emergency department remains open for urgent and emergent care and all scheduled surgeries will continue.

“There are inpatients present who will stay where they are, but any new patient who presents to the emergency department who requires admission will be transported to another hospital within the Fraser Health network,” Dr. Elizabeth Brodkin, Fraser Health’s chief medical health officer and vice-president of population health, told media on Monday, Oct. 5.

Brodkin said at the time that all the patient cases were associated with transmission in the hospital, however some of the staff cases were due to community exposures.

“We are sorting through all of the cases to determine which is which,” Brodkin said.

Fraser Health declared the outbreak at Delta Hospital on Sept. 16 after two patients in a single unit tested positive. The outbreak remains confined to a medicine unit that comprises the hospital’s second floor.

The health authority says enhanced infection prevention and control measures were put in place at the onset of the outbreak and continue to be in place. All appropriate staff, medical staff and patients are being tested, and contact tracing is being carried out to prevent further transmission. Further, the essential visitors policy is being strictly enforced at this time.

Brodkin said the seven patients who died were “almost entirely older patients with multiple core morbidities who had other health issues in addition to COVID-19.”

“We appreciate that this has been a very difficult time for everyone, for the patients themselves who have become sick and their families, and acknowledge that it has been a tough go.”

In her briefing to media that same afternoon, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry described the situation at Delta Hospital as a “very challenging outbreak.”

Henry said a number of different factors have led to the spread of the illness, even with all the extra layers of protection in place.

“Like how it often happens, it is unrecognized cases that likely spread [the virus],” she said, citing ongoing transmission in a number of different settings to — and between — health care workers.

— with files from Ashley Wadhwani

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