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Health unit investigates 'cluster' of COVID-19 cases in RVH staff

'It's not clear whether the transmission happened on site,' says Dr. Charles Gardner, adding the three people work in an area where there are no patients
2020-02-07 RVH RB 1
Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre is located on Georgian Drive in Barrie's north end. Raymond Bowe/BarrieToday

Three staff employed at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) have tested positive for COVID-19, but the health unit is not ready to call it an outbreak. 

Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, said the three people work in a part of the hospital where there are no patients. 

"They have other contacts in their life who are cases," Gardner said Tuesday. "It's not clear whether the transmission happened on site." 

Gardner said the health unit technically could have declared an outbreak at RVH, but instead is calling it a "cluster" and said it's possible it's "coincidental" there are three employees. 

An outbreak can be declared at a hospital when two individuals (patients or staff) test positive for COVID-19. 

The health unit has declared a new outbreak at a long-term care facility in Creemore, however. 

Gardner also announced today one staff member at Creeden Valley Care Community has tested positive for COVID-19.

An outbreak declared at a long-term care facility with just one confirmed case in a staff member or resident.