Home Breaking News LHSC makes contingency plans as staff COVID-19 infections nearly double

LHSC makes contingency plans as staff COVID-19 infections nearly double

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The number of London Health Sciences Centre employees with COVID-19 has nearly doubled in less than a week to 104.

Author of the article:

Jennifer Bieman

Publishing date:

Dec 28, 2021  •  3 hours ago  •  2 minute read (File photo) (File photo)

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The number of London Health Sciences Centre employees with COVID-19 has nearly doubled in less than a week to 104.

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LHSC announced the staff cases Tuesday, its first update since Dec. 23 when it reported 54 cases among its nearly 15,000 workers.

There are no active COVID-19 outbreaks at Victoria Hospital or University Hospital.

“These positive staff cases are reflective of the wide-spread transmission of the COVID-19 virus in our community,” LHSC said in a statement Tuesday.

“As we see numbers in our community rapidly rising due to Omicron, we are concerned as to how subsequent positive cases may impact our health human resources. . . . Senior leadership is working diligently to review strategic plans to ensure delivery of essential services is not interrupted.”

The Middlesex-London Health Unit reported 280 new cases Tuesday, the latest in a record-breaking surge driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant. The London area reached a record high of 357 new cases on Christmas Day.

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The recent case spike has not yet led to a corresponding surge in COVID-19 hospital admissions in London.

LHSC had 17 COVID-19 patients in hospital Tuesday, including seven in intensive care.

Fewer than five COVID-19 patients are in Children’s Hospital and the pediatric intensive care unit.

St. Joseph’s Health Care London, which postponed about 90 surgeries this month because 23 staff were forced into isolation after a high-risk exposure, reported 26 COVID-19 cases among workers as of Sunday.

Five are linked to COVID-19 outbreaks, St. Joseph’s reported. The Middlesex-London Health Unit identified two outbreaks at St. Joseph’s sites: one at Mount Hope Centre for Long-term Care and another at Parkwood Institute.

The staff cases at LHSC and St. Joseph’s come despite both hospitals mandating COVID-19 vaccination for all staff. LHSC fired 84 employees in late October for non-compliance with the policy. St. Joseph’s fired 40 unvaccinated or non-compliant staff in late November.

LHSC does not require staff to get the third doses under its mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. Staff may voluntarily report their booster status to hospital administration.

Health-care workers became eligible for third dose booster shots in early November.

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