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Home » Infection Prevention & Control » Current Outbreaks in WRHA Facilities

Current Outbreaks in WRHA Facilities

What is an Outbreak?

An outbreak is a sudden rise in the number of cases of a disease, beyond what might be expected. It may last for a few days or weeks, or even for several years. An outbreak is the spread of the same illness among a group of people living or working in the same place at the same time. Infectious disease outbreaks occur year-round and in different settings including hospitals, long term care facilities, and the community. There are many types of outbreaks that might occur in healthcare facilities (e.g., respiratory, gastrointestinal, MRSA, scabies) and some are expected every year (e.g., influenza). The number of cases of illness required to call an outbreak may be different between the different types of disease. There are times when outbreaks can impact the health of people receiving care and even be life threatening. Early recognition of outbreaks and prompt response are essential for effective management of outbreaks. When illness is identified early and appropriate control measures are implemented in a timely manner, outbreaks are generally quickly controlled. 

Gastroenteritis Outbreaks

Gastroenteritis (GI) outbreaks are usually caused by viral or bacterial infections of the bowel. These infections can be caused by viruses such as norovirus, rotavirus or COVID-19, or bacteria such as C. difficile. Symptoms for these infections usually are a sudden onset of nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. The length of the GI outbreak is dependent on the cause of infection. If visitation is allowed, signage will be posted showing what infection prevention and control measures you must take. Please confirm with the nursing staff as to how you can limit transfer of the infection. The best prevention of these illnesses is to practice proper hand hygiene.

Respiratory Outbreaks

Respiratory outbreaks are usually caused by viruses such as influenza A, influenza B, COVID-19, respiratory syncytialvirus (RSV) or common cold viruses. Symptoms for these infections can include coughing, fever, sore throat, fatigue, and body aches and pains. The length of time that symptoms last depends on the cause of infection causing the outbreak. The length of an outbreak also depends on which infection is part of the outbreak. If visitation is allowed, signage will be posted showing what infection prevention and control measures you must take. Please confirm with the nursing staff as to how you can limit transfer of the infection. The best prevention of these viruses is to practice proper hand hygiene. Respiratory Hygiene also helps prevent spread of germs that make you sick.

How does the WRHA respond to an outbreak?

We have strict infection control protocols that are immediately put in place when an outbreak is declared. Our goal is to prevent further spread of the infection through:

  • Careful monitoring
  • Increased environmental cleaning
  • Educating staff, persons who receive care, and friends and family about the outbreak measures
  • Reducing patient/resident/client movement on the unit and between units
  • Restricted visitation 

Please follow these steps to help stop the spread of illness:

  1. Check-in at the nursing station
    • Control measures may change several times during an outbreak. Staff at the nursing station will provide you with information on control measures in place, and help answer your questions.
  2. Keep your hands clean
    • Wash hands using soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub:
      • Immediately when you enter the facility and as you leave
      • Before entering and as you leave a patient's/resident's/client's room
      • Before and after feeding or providing care to a patient/resident/client
      • Before eating
      • After using the washroom
  3. If a patient/resident/client is ill, visit in their room only
    • Ill patients/residents/clients should remain in their rooms. Avoid taking an ill patient/resident/client to a common area during your visit
    • When visiting any patient/resident/client, follow the facility's infection prevention and control instructions
  4. Do not visit if you are ill
    • Visiting a patient/resident/client when you are not feeling well puts everyone in the facility at risk.
  5. During an outbreak, do not visit more than one patient/resident/client within the facility
    • After visiting, leave the facility immediately.
    • To protect yourself and to avoid spreading illness, avoid common areas (e.g., dining room).
  6. Follow the facility's infection prevention and control instructions
    • Follow instructions for precautions or personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, masks, eye protection or gowns), if required.
    • Participation in control measures is required by everyone to assist in containing an outbreak.
    • During outbreaks, visitation is usually restricted to designated caregivers only.

Current Outbreaks

The following is a list of outbreaks ongoing in care facilities in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

For any questions arising from this information, please contact WRHA Media Relations at [email protected].

Latest Update: December 1, 2023

FacilityDate DeclaredType
Holy Family Home - 3C20-Oct-23Gastroenteritis
Fred Douglas Lodge – Oak Unit2-Nov-23Respiratory / COVID-19
Actionmarguerite St. Boniface – 2DE8-Nov-23Respiratory
Deer Lodge Centre – Lodge 4 West9-Nov-23COVID-19
Grace Hospital – 3 North14-Nov-23COVID-19
Bethania PCH – South Unit15-Nov-23COVID-19
Tuxedo Villa – Station 216-Nov-23COVID-19
Health Sciences Centre – RR520-Nov-23COVID-19
Maples PCH – 1 East21-Nov-23COVID-19
Health Sciences Centre – GD523-Nov-23COVID-19
St. Boniface Hospital – E5ME23-Nov-23COVID-19
Seven Oaks General Hospital – 4U4-724-Nov-23COVID-19
Misericordia Health Centre – C227-Nov-23COVID-19
Middlechurch Home – 2 East28-Nov-23COVID-19
Victoria Hospital – Unit 4 North28-Nov-23COVID-19
Actionmarguerite St. Boniface – 2AB29-Nov-23COVID-19
Victoria Hospital – Unit 4 South29-Nov-23COVID-19
Health Sciences Centre – GD529-Nov-23Respiratory
Actionmarguerite St. Vital – 3rd floor29-Nov-23COVID-19
Simkin Centre – Weinberg 31-Dec-23Respiratory
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