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COVID-19 outbreak declared at Victoria hospital

Health authorities have declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Victoria General Hospital after 11 patients were found to have contracted the illness on an acute-care ward.

A spokesperson for Island Health says eight cases remain active on unit 6C of the hospital Wednesday, one day after the respiratory-illness outbreak was declared.

"At this time, all patients are experiencing mild illness," the health authority said, noting the outbreak is limited to the unit and no other areas of the hospital are affected.

The outbreak is the only active COVID-19 outbreak in a Vancouver Island health-care facility, according to Island Health's active outbreak list.

The declaration was made on the same day that mask mandates returned for health workers, volunteers and visitors at hospitals and other health-care facilities in B.C.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced last week that masks must be worn in all patient-care areas starting Oct. 3 as the province prepares to roll out its fall flu and COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

Island Health says patients who need urgent medical care or who have existing appointments at Victoria General Hospital should not avoid the facility during to the outbreak.

"VGH remains a safe place to seek care," Island Health said in a statement highlighting the hospital's enhanced infection-control protocols honed over the past "three-plus years" of COVID-19 pandemic response. Top Stories

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