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London, Ont., hospital declares outbreak at more units, 41 total cases

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A hospital in London, Ont., is discontinuing admissions to all medical units for the next seven days as it fights several COVID-19 outbreaks that have so far infected 41 patients and staff.

The London Health Sciences Centre – which runs several hospitals – first declared an outbreak on the fourth floor of its University Hospital on Nov. 10. That has now expanded to include all of the facility's medical floors, the local public health unit said. 

Dr. Chris Mackie, the medical officer of health of Middlesex-London Health Unit, said additional measures were being implemented to ensure more people don't become sick. 

“The situation at University Hospital is alarming," Mackie said. 

“This is a reminder that COVID can and will strike anywhere if we let our guard down.”

As of Tuesday, visitors and designated care partners will not be permitted inside the affected units, the health unit said. 

The health unit also said it was recommending testing for all patients and staff on all medical floors. 

There have been 34 cases associated with the outbreak that began on the fourth floor of the University Hospital, including 16 cases among hospital staff, 18 cases among patients and one death, the health unit said. 

It also said there are six cases associated with a smaller, second outbreak on a different floor at the same hospital. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Denise Paglinawan, The Canadian Press