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Fraser Health declares COVID-19 outbreak Royal Columbian Hospital

Fraser Health has also declared an outbreak at a B.C. jail, where 20 individuals in custody have tested positive for the virus.
Photo: Tube containing a swab sample that has tested positive for COVID-19/Shutterstock

The Fraser Health Authority has declared two new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks in the region at the Royal Columbian Hospital and at the North Fraser Pretrial Services Centre. 

Fraser Health declared an outbreak of the virus at Royal Columbian Hospital after evidence of transmission in a surgical unit, explains a news release. 

Two patients at the hospital have tested positive for COVID-19. The outbreak is limited to one unit, which is temporarily closed to admissions.

Upon declaring the outbreak, Fraser Health says immediately implemented precautions, including enhanced cleaning as well as contact tracing to protect the health of all staff, medical staff, and patients.

The emergency department at Royal Columbian Hospital remains open and there has been no impact to any other areas of Royal Columbian Hospital.

Fraser Health has notified all patients on the affected unit about the outbreak, and has informed the families of patients who are unable to share this information.

COVID-19 outbreak at North Fraser Pretrial Services Centre

Fraser Health says that 20 individuals in custody at the North Fraser Pretrial Services Centre have tested positive for COVID-19.

The health authority is working with BC Corrections and Provincial Health Services Authority infection control to support the site and manage the outbreak.

Additionally, it is "actively following up with any individuals who had contact with the individuals in custody at this location who have tested positive for COVID-19."

Following provincial health guidelines, Public Health will contact these individuals directly to determine if they are symptomatic and that appropriate self-isolation measures are being taken.

There have been several outbreaks in prisons and jails across Canada, including at Mission Institution in B.C.'s Fraser Valley, where an inmate died in April. 

--With a file from the Canadian Press.