Hospital-wide visitor restrictions are in effect at the Lake of the Woods District Hospital as leadership declares a COVID-19 outbreak.

The hospital’s Infection Control Team says they’re investigating the origin of the outbreak and staff are working in partnership with the Northwestern Health Unit to ensure effective control strategies to protect patients.

As it stands, hospital-wide restrictions are in effect until further notice with only essential care partners allowed to visit. There are limited exceptions for end-of-life patients that must be determined by a unit manager.

The hospital explains that essential care partners may be required if:

- Patient is unable to communicate effectively or has a language barrier,
- Patient has intellectual or developmental disabilities,
- Patient needs medical or special assistance,
- Patient has a cognitive impairment,
- Patient needs mental health support,

- Patient needs support for discussions of life-altering care, decisions or goals of care.

This is the fourth COVID-19 outbreak for the Lake of the Woods District Hospital in 2022. The first was reported in April, the second was in May and the third was in effect between August and September.

This comes just one day after Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, warned the province about the ‘triple-threat’ of respiratory illnesses circulating in the province currently, which is expected to continue impacting hospital operations. Masking is once again strongly recommended in all indoor public settings.