For Immediate Release:
November 27, 2020
LONDON, Ontario – London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is reporting that its University Hospital 4IP (General Medicine) unit-level outbreak has been extended to include five additional units, that as of Nov. 27 include 4TU Multi-Organ Transplant Unit and 6IP Cardiovascular Surgery. We are pleased to report that the 9IP outbreak declared on Nov. 11 has been resolved.
LHSC continues to work collaboratively in partnership with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) to implement enhanced precautions and measures to limit the COVID-19 outbreaks at University Hospital and keep staff, physicians, patients, and our community safe. In addition to existing measures that include the MLHU direction for some affected staff to work-quarantine, cohorting of staff to a geographic areas and enhanced cleaning protocols, LHSC is implementing additional measures including:
- Admission COVID-19 testing for all patients admitted to LHSC (including University and Victoria hospitals)
- Enhanced surveillance COVID-19 testing for all staff and physicians who provide inpatient clinical care at University Hospital
- Masking of all admitted adult inpatients at University Hospital and Victoria Hospital
- Opening 24 beds at Victoria Hospital to provide additional capacity given reductions to admissions at University Hospital
- Temporarily suspending essential visitors and caregivers at University Hospital with some exceptions
- Temporarily suspending all student placements at University Hospital 4IP
- Opening additional break room spaces for staff and physicians to ensure appropriate physical distancing can be maintained while eating
- Limiting the movement of staff and physicians between units and hospitals
Additionally, LHSC is postponing all non-urgent and non-emergent surgeries and procedures at University Hospital. Any patient whose care is impacted will receive direct communication from their care provider. LHSC remains safe to receive care and it is important that nobody delays seeking care for any urgent or emergent needs.
“We want to reassure the public that our precautions, practices, and protocols to address COVID-19 within the hospital continue to be followed carefully. On behalf of LHSC I also extend our deepest sympathy to the families of the two patients whose deaths were associated with these outbreaks,” says Dr. Paul Woods, LHSC President and CEO.
“We fully acknowledge the impact these enhanced measures are having not only on our patients but also our staff and physicians. While we regret that these measures are necessary, they are the next step within a tiered outbreak response with the ultimate goal of curbing transmission within the hospital as well as protecting the health and safety of our community,” says Dr. Woods.
The community can help to ensure the health and safety of all individuals at LHSC and within the community by continuing to follow public health guidelines, including frequent hand washing, wearing a mask, physical distancing, and not socializing with anyone outside of your immediate household.
Neil Johnson, LHSC Chief Operating Officer, is available for media interviews from 3 – 4:30pm on Friday, November 27.
About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been at the forefront of medicine in Canada for 145 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, the Kidney Care Centre, two family medical centres, and two research institutes – Children’s Health Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 70 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s nearly 15,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca
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For media inquiries contact:
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 77127
Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communicator on-call