ST. PAUL’S HOSPITAL NICU OUTBREAK UPDATE
Submitted by Fiona Dalton, President & CEO, PHC.
Public Health declared the St. Paul’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) outbreak officially over, effective July 28, 2020. The Maternity unit was not part of the outbreak and remained open throughout the outbreak period.
The reopened NICU is now fully operational – with babies being transferred back from the satellite and temporary NICU – and fully staffed with normal work-shift schedules and no special conditions.
PHC Communications is ensuring the media, public, patients and community health care providers are informed through various communications channels, including via social media.
A big thanks to everyone who helped manage the outbreak, especially our staff and physicians that work in Maternity, the Emergency Operations Team and VCH Public Health, for being so focused and vigilant since the outbreak was declared on July 16. This included prompt isolation of cases and all potential contacts, stringent disinfecting of the NICU, and monitoring of proper infection, prevention and control practices.
Thanks to great team work, there were no new staff or patient cases of COVID-19 transmission during the outbreak period, leading to the outbreak successfully ending. At no time was there evidence of risk to patients elsewhere in the hospital.
We all appreciate how difficult this situation was and how much uncertainty it caused among patients, families, providers and staff.
The NICU outbreak and the continuing outbreak at Holy Family Hospital have given us another glimpse of how unpredictable, fast-moving and difficult this new COVID world can be. There is a lot of uncertainty, and it’s important to acknowledge how difficult this is for all involved. It’s just as important to acknowledge the strength, resilience and compassion demonstrated by our staff that has got us to this point, and which we will need more than ever as we go forward into this unknown future. As ever, I am grateful that I go into this unknown together with my Providence colleagues.
On behalf of Providence Health Care’s senior leadership team, thank you again for living our values and for always putting the health and safety of our patients, families and health care providers first.
If you need to reach PHC’s Infection Prevention and Control Team (IPAC), please call local 69357. Do not contact individual IPAC team members.