Loading articles...

Quebec hospital outbreak prompts 'massive' testing as case numbers increase

FILE - In this Friday, June 12, 2020 file photo, a nurse uses a swab to perform a coronavirus test in Salt Lake City. On Friday, July 10, 2020, (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

MONTREAL _ Public health officials north of Montreal launched a “massive” round of testing to contain an outbreak at a local hospital as Quebec reported another increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases Friday.

The public health agency for the Laurentians region said all doctors and staff at a hospital in St-Eustache, Que., were being tested for the novel coronavirus.

Fourteen patients and 11 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since Monday, the authorities said, after outbreaks were reported in three of the hospital’s 13 units.

“We are taking the situation very seriously and aren’t sparing any effort to stop these outbreaks as quickly as possible,” Rosemonde Landry, head of the Laurentians public health agency, said in a statement.

Visits to the three affected units have been suspended until further notice, the agency said.

Meanwhile, Quebec reported 164 new cases and one new death attributed to the novel coronavirus on Friday.

It was the third straight day with an increase in new cases, pushing the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Quebec to 59,312. Total deaths from the disease stand at 5,674.

Public health authorities also said hospitalizations dropped by 19 for a total of 189.

Of those, 15 people are in intensive care, three fewer than the prior day.

The province also corrected the number of COVID-19 cases it announced Thursday, saying 139 new cases should have been reported instead of 122.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 31, 2020.