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New West now grappling with second big COVID-19 outbreak

Royal Columbian Hospital has multiple cases
A positive swab test for COVID-19. Photo: Getty Images

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Royal Columbian Hospital after evidence of transmission in a medicine unit. 

That means New Westminster is grappling with two outbreaks as the one at Royal City Manor care home continues with at least 133 cases and 28 deaths, according to an update posted by the BC Centre for Disease Control on Thursday.

Five patients at Royal Columbian Hospital have tested positive for COVID-19 as part of this outbreak, said Fraser Health. The outbreak is limited to one unit, which is temporarily closed to admissions.

“Upon declaring the outbreak, Fraser Health immediately implemented precautions, including enhanced cleaning as well as contact tracing to protect the health of all staff, medical staff, and patients,” said a news release.

The emergency department at Royal Columbian Hospital remains open and there has been no impact to any other areas of Royal Columbian Hospital.

Fraser Health said it has notified all patients on the affected unit about the outbreak, and in addition, have informed the families of patients who are unable to share this information.

BCCDC data show New Westminster had a total of 71 new coronavirus cases between Feb.14 and 20 – up sharply from the 46 cases from Feb. 7 to 13, and the 50 new coronavirus cases between Jan. 31 and Feb. 6, but down from the 85 new coronavirus cases between Jan. 24 and 30.