The Prince Albert Parkland Health Region will be focusing on minimal movement of staff between units. In extenuating circumstances, patient cases will be reviewed by nursing staff with a medical health officer prior to visiting the unit.
As of noon on Tuesday, patients on the level five unit had been experiencing symptoms suggestive of norovirus. Staff members had also called in with similar symptoms within the 48 hours prior. There were five individuals affected at the time.
The medical-palliative unit is closed and considered on isolation, with no admissions being accepted until the declared outbreak is rescinded.
Patient transfers from the unit to long-term care are on hold, though discharges to home care and home are to continue. Transfers to other acute-care facilities will continue as required. Facilities receiving transfers will be made aware of the current outbreak status and the status of the patient being transferred.
The norovirus family, which includes Norwalk, is a common cause of vomiting and diarrhea illness that has often been referred to as “stomach flu.” It causes viral gastroenteritis, predominately during the winter in temperate climates.
The level five, 36-bed medical-palliative unit provides inpatient medical and palliative care.