Several IWK staff self-isolating due to COVID-19 exposure – Halifax

Several staff members at the IWK Health Centre have been advised to self-isolate and get tested for COVID-19 after staff were alerted to a virus exposure in the hospital.

An email statement sent to Global News on Sunday reads, “we can confirm that a notice was shared with staff to alert them to a COVID-19 exposure at the IWK Health Centre.”

READ MORE: 26 new cases of coronavirus identified in Nova Scotia

The email statement sent from IWK Health Centre communications advisor, Nick Cox, outlines protocols the health centre is taking to respond to the exposure.

The response process is lead by the IWK’s occupational health safety and wellness team and follows the ‘usual processes’ for any infectious disease exposure.

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It’s not clear from the email statement how the COVID-19 exposure at the children’s hospital happened or how many may have been exposed.

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An investigation into contact tracing is underway to pinpoint which physicians and staff may have come been exposed to the virus.

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Infection prevention and control is also participating in the response effort, by identifying any potential patients who may require follow-up.

At this time, no changes to delivery or patient care have been deemed necessary.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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