MSJ 3C outbreak update: Message to staff

January 20, 2021: This email update is forwarded on behalf of Sandy Barr, Program Director, Medicine, Mount Saint Joseph Hospital & Meghan McMenamie, Patient Care Manager, Mount Saint Joseph Hospital. Please print and post for those not on email.

Dear Mount Saint Joseph Hospital staff, medical staff and contracted staff, 

Since the outbreak on 3C began on January 11th, five staff and no additional patients have been diagnosed with COVID-19. There are no COVID-19 patients currently on the unit.

The PHC Pandemic Response team continues to work closely with Public Health to ensure appropriate precautions are in place for everyone’s safety. Apart from 3C, no other units are on outbreak precautions. Enhanced Surveillance continues on 4E as a precautionary measure.

Here are some key things to note:


  • ​​When conducting rounds for patients, if you must visit multiple units including 3C, it is best practice to start your rounds with the least affected units first, finishing with the outbreak unit (3C). On units where there are COVID-19 patients and close contacts, please also start your rounds with unaffected patients first, followed by close contacts on contact and droplet precautions, with known positive patients being seen last whenever feasible. Given the current outbreak, strict attention to PPE is paramount.


  • 3rd Floor medicine staff are reminded to please use the Kingsway entrance rather than the Prince Edward Street entrance.


  • Acute care staff entering MSJ from the Kingsway entrance and throughout your shift, please use Elevator 3 (on the right).
  • 2ECU staff entering MSJ from the Kingsway entrance and throughout your shift, please use Elevator 4 (on the left)


  • It is essential that everyone maintain physical distancing and proper usage of PPE at all times. We understand that this is hard, but given the risk of transmission between staff members, for the duration of the outbreak we would encourage you to minimize socializing with teammates during breaks or coffee walks.
  • If you have even the slightest of symptoms, please don’t come to work. Get tested and wait for the results. If symptoms develop at work, inform your manager, leave work and get tested at one of the community testing sites.
  • Please be extra cautious in break areas. Stagger your breaks. Obey room occupancy limits. When in break rooms, keep your mask on until seated; keep a two-metre distance from one another; declutter and disinfect surfaces in break rooms before and after use, and avoid sharing food. Utilize the alternative break rooms that have been established. 
  • Even if you have recently tested negative for COVID-19, or have received the vaccine, do not let your guard down. If you have symptoms, please isolate and get tested.
  • Some people experience temporary symptoms after receiving a vaccine. Even if you have recently received the COVID-19 vaccine, if you develop any symptoms please immediately go for testing and self-isolate while you wait for results.
  • Reminder that excellent hand hygiene is important for protecting yourself against COVID-19 and other pathogens. Hand hygiene should be performed: When entering and exiting medical facility, unit, ward, or clinic; before and after patient contact or contact with patient environment; before and after contact with a health-care provider or their work environment; and before donning and during/after doffing PPE.    


You are all working under tremendous pressure and stress. Please know there’s extra help should you need it. Please talk to your supervisor/manager or seek further assistance by contacting Occupational Health & Safety at 604-806-9925 or Homewood Health (new EFAP) at 1-800-663-1142 if you wish to talk to speak to someone about the psychological impact on yourself and/or your family. 


Please check out the staff Q&A:

Please email COVID-19 related questions to:   
Check out COVID-19 information at:​  

With the vaccine roll-out underway, there is good news on the horizon. However, we need to continue to remember that the pandemic is still with us and it remains a big threat to health care workers and the community.  We appreciate the amazing work you continue to do to look after patients, yourselves and your colleagues. Thank you all for providing exceptional and compassionate care during this difficult time. Together, we will get through this.  


This page last updated Feb 4, 2021 5:54pm PST