13 Western Health staff in isolation due to prior COVID-19 case

·3 min read
Western Health is asking some people in its jurisdiction to seek testing, even if they do not have symptoms. This is the COVID-19 testing site in Corner Brook, on Montgomerie Street. (Lindsay Bird/CBC - image credit)
Western Health is asking some people in its jurisdiction to seek testing, even if they do not have symptoms. This is the COVID-19 testing site in Corner Brook, on Montgomerie Street. (Lindsay Bird/CBC - image credit)
Western Health is asking some people in its jurisdiction to seek testing, even if they do not have symptoms. This is the COVID-19 testing site in Corner Brook, on Montgomerie Street.
Western Health is asking some people in its jurisdiction to seek testing, even if they do not have symptoms. This is the COVID-19 testing site in Corner Brook, on Montgomerie Street.(Lindsay Bird/CBC)

Thirteen health-care workers are self-isolating — and some people in western Newfoundland are being encouraged to get tested, even if they do not have symptoms — following a positive COVID-19 test involving a Western Health staff member.

The Western Health region has had seven cases reported since Friday, and health officials are still trying to find the source of two of them.

The latest was identified in an email sent by the health department late Sunday night — a man in his 40s who the department said is a close contact of a previous case, but is not connected to four cases that had been announced in the western region Saturday.

Western Health told CBC News in an emailed statement that one of Saturday's four cases was a Western Health employee, and that it has resulted in other staff having to self-isolate.

The health authority didn't say whether the person is a front-line worker or had been in contact with patients.

"All staff members who are considered close contacts have been contacted and testing has been arranged. At this time, 13 staff members are self-isolating due to this case. There is no impact to patients or patient care," the statement said.

"The safety of patients, clients, residents, staff and physicians remains Western Health's top priority as we continue to respond to COVID-19 pandemic."

Testing sites set up in Corner Brook, Meadows

The health authority has testing sites in Corner Brook and Meadows on the north shore of the Bay of Islands, and wants peoplein those areas to get tested for the virus, even if they don't have symptoms, as part of an effort "to determine how community members may have acquired COVID-19 and whether there has been transmission within the community."

"Being tested is an opportunity to help protect the health of all residents. There was a new case identified in Western Region today who is a close contact of a previous case and is not related to this investigation," a separate press release from the health authority read.

Thirteen Western Health staff are in self-isolation after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. The health authority says patient care is not affected.
Thirteen Western Health staff are in self-isolation after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. The health authority says patient care is not affected.(CBC)

To book a test, people can complete the online self-assessment and referral tool available here or call 811.

Following the completion of the online self-assessment or call to 811, residents will be contacted to book an appointment time for the location closest to them. There will be two drive through testing sites available Monday to Wednesday, April 12 to April 14, the town hall in Meadows and at the former St. Gerard's Elementary School in Corner Brook.

More information on testing is available on the Western Health website.

1 recovery, 10 active cases

The Department of Health said Sunday said the case reported Thursday in the Eastern Health region and the two cases in Western Health reported Friday remain under investigation.

Contact tracing for Sunday's case is underway and anyone who is considered a close contact has been advised to quarantine.

There is also one new recovery in the Central Health region. There are now 10 active cases in the province, with no one in hospital due to the virus.

To date, 126,691 people have been tested. That's an increase of 210 people in the past day.

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