VANCOUVER -- Another COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at St. Paul's Hospital, affecting a third unit of the facility.

The latest outbreak is in unit 7C, a medicine unit, the hospital's operator Providence Health Care said in a news release Friday.

The organization confirmed to CTV News that four patients in the unit had tested positive. 

On Saturday, hospital staff confirmed a total of 53 patients and staff at the hospital had tested positive for COVID-19 in connection to the three ongoing outbreaks. There are other patients are in the hospital's COVID-19 ward for treatment, but their cases are not associated with the outbreaks, according to a spokesperson. 

One outbreak was announced in the renal unit Wednesday, while the other is in the hospital's Heart Centre.

Hospital officials said Saturday that 24 patients had tested positive in connection to the outbreaks, up from 18 last week. The other 29 cases involve hospital staff.

In an email to CTV News, a spokesperson said they are seeing "a higher number of inpatients who have COVID-19" and that they "try to move those patients to (the) COVID-19 ward when possible."

All three units with outbreaks are closed to new admissions and transfers at this time and all visitation has been suspended except for compassionate end of life visits. The outbreak in the Heart Centre is only affecting in-patient wards.

St. Paul’s remains open to receive and treat visitors, and anyone who is seeking care or has a clinical appointment can still go to the hospital. The hospital’s emergency department, maternity unit, surgery unit and clinics are all open. Hospital officials told CTV News that patient care is not affected, and they have an "excellent system of staffing and staff scheduling."

The source of the outbreaks remains under investigation. 


A previous version of this story gave the number of COVID-19 cases at the hospital as 63. On Saturday, a spokesperson clarified that there are 53 cases associated with the three outbreaks, as well as several other cases that are not connected to the outbreaks, but rather are patients who contracted the coronavirus elsewhere and are receiving treatment at the hospital.