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COVID-19 outbreak declared at North Vancouver's Lions Gate Hospital

There's no word yet on whether the outbreak is a result of the Omicron variant. The outbreak is the fourth to be declared at the North Shore hospital since the pandemic began.
Another COVID outbreak has been declared at Lions Gate Hospital, the fourth since the pandemic began.

Another COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver.

The outbreak was declared Thursday, Dec. 16 on the 4 West sub-acute unit of the hospital after five patients there tested positive for COVID. As of Monday, Dec. 20, one more person in the unit had tested positive, for a total of six cases.

The unit has been closed to new admissions, transfers and visits, except for essential care and compassionate visits at end of life.

There’s no information so far about how those patients at Lions Gate may have first contracted the virus or whether the infections are with the Omicron variant of the virus.

But it comes as both numbers of COVID-19 cases in North Vancouver and the number of cases of the Omicron variant are rapidly increasing.

Henry said health authorities are working to control the outbreak, adding it is frustrating to see it after outbreaks in hospitals and long-term care facilities were recently brought under control. "I know Vancouver Coastal is working closely on it," she said.

The outbreak is the fourth to hit Lions Gate Hospital since the start of the pandemic. The last outbreak at the hospital was during the third wave of the pandemic in May, in which 36 people (including five staff) became infected and seven patients died.

A total of 28 patients died of COVID-19 acquired while in Lions Gate Hospital in three separate hospital outbreaks since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March 2020.

While Omicron is more transmissible than other variants, there is so far no evidence it causes more severe illness, according to Vancouver Coastal Health. High vaccination rates and boosters that have so far been made available for the most vulnerable and those over 70 are also expected to protect against severe illness.