3C Outbreak FAQ

What happened?

On January 11, 2021 an outbreak was declared by the Medical Health Officer for the unit 3C at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital.

What is 3C?

3C is a general medicine inpatient unit at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital.

Is MSJ still open and accepting patients?

Mount Saint Joseph remains open and prepared to safely receive and care for all individuals who require urgent and emergent care. At this time, there is no impact on other areas of the hospital. 

I have a surgery scheduled at MSJ – is it going to be cancelled?

Currently, no surgeries will be cancelled as a result of this outbreak. MSJ continued to be safe and open to receive individuals for their appointments or for urgent and emergent care. Do not delay your care as it can exacerbate your condition.

Is it safe for patients and visitors to be at the hospital?

Yes. Patient and staff safety continues to be Mount Saint Joseph Hospital’s top priority and care continues to be safe at the hospital. We declared this outbreak, in collaboration with Public Health, as a safety measure, and out of an abundance of caution.

Patients who need urgent and emergency care are strongly encouraged to continue to come to the hospital. Do not delay in seeking care as this can exacerbate your condition.

Everyone who arrives at the hospital is screened at the door for COVID-19 symptoms and given a mask to wear. There are separate areas of the Emergency Department patients with and patients without COVID-19 symptoms.

Are visitors to the hospital allowed?

Visitations to patients in 3C are currently suspended until outbreak measures are lifted, except for compassionate (end-of-life) visits. Visits planned for all our areas at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital can continue. Visitors to other parts of Mount Saint Joseph Hospital continue to be restricted to essential visits only. For more information about visitation, please click here.

My loved one is a patient at the hospital, what do I need to know?

Regardless of an outbreak, it is very difficult to have a loved one in the hospital; and we would like to reassure you that we are doing everything possible to keep them safe and continue to provide quality care.

Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care are taking critical steps to ensure the safety of patients, residents, staff and community with early identification of cases, prompt isolation, testing, monitoring and execution of proper infection, prevention and control practices. 

As part of our outbreak protocols we are not admitting new patients, but patients will be discharged from the unit per normal procedures, with information regarding self-isolation, wearing a mask, hand hygiene, and physical distancing, as well as connecting them with Public Health for follow up.

My family member or friend is on the outbreak unit and is scared, why can’t I go visit them to comfort them?

We hope you understand these new rules are in place as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of patients, staff and physicians. We understand and thank you for understanding this important public health intervention.

We can assure you this hospital is a safe place and these new visitation measures will give us the strongest infection control possible.  We will advise the public when these new rules are lifted.

Our teams will also work with you to connect virtually via phone or other virtual technology.

My family member or friend is a resident in the MSJ long-term care facility. Will they be impacted by this outbreak?

No. The MSJ long term care is separate from the MSJ acute care hospital and will experience no impacts or change to the care they receive.

When and why was the outbreak declared?

The outbreak was declared on January 11, 2021 after a patient tested positive for COVID-19.

Have there been any deaths?

As of January 12, 2021 no deaths related to this outbreak have been reported.

Is this the first outbreak Mount Saint Joseph Hospital has had?

Yes, this is the first outbreak at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital.

Are there any units or services closed?

3C is currently the only unit closed to visits or transfers. No other units or services are closed.

What are we doing to stop the spread?

A number of infection prevention and control measures were immediately implemented as part of our outbreak mitigation strategy, including but not limited to:

  • Careful monitoring of patients, staff and physicians – with screeners at the entrance  
  • All patients have been placed on Droplet and Contact precautions
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection of all high-touch surfaces  
  • Closing the unit to patient admissions   
  • Self-monitoring or self-isolation of staff/physicians as required   
  • Suspension of visitors to the unit (with exemptions being for compassionate visits at the end of life). 

When will the outbreak be declared over and the affected units reopened?

The Medical Health Office is responsible for declaring an outbreak over. Outbreaks are typically declared over 2 weeks following the first day with no positive COVID-19 tests. Also, variables specific to each facility will be taken into consideration and may impact this timeline.

Are all patients and staff in the hospital being tested?

All patients, staff, and physicians who work in 3C have been tested and/or retested for COVID 19 as required.