COVID-19 outbreak declared at Palmerston and District Hospital

PALMERSTON – Officials have declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Palmerston and District Hospital.

Two inpatients and five staff at the hospital have tested positive for the virus, states a Sept. 7 press release from the Wellington Health Care Alliance (WHCA), which operates the three hospitals in the county.

“There is currently no inpatient visiting permitted at the hospital apart from very limited, special circumstances,” states the release.

The hospital is working with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) to respond to the outbreak.”

Palmerston and District Hospital’s emergency department, diagnostic imaging, ambulatory care, and day surgery services remain open, officials say.

“Masks are required while in the hospital,” the release adds.

Cases on the rise

The Palmerston outbreak is the first declared at a local hospital in many months.

According to a Sept. 6 update from WDGPH, there are currently 43 COVID-19 cases in the region. Cases had dropped to a low of seven in July and early August.

Medical Officer of Health Nicola Mercer told the board of health on Sept. 6 that “in the last five weeks, we’re seeing an increase in the number of cases, and an increase in hospitalizations.”

Mercer noted there are currently three COVID patients in intensive care units in the region.

COVID-19 cases have been on the rise across the province over the last few weeks.