Tag Archives: coronavirus oc43

Outbreaks in Herbert and Shaunavon Rescinded, Visitation Resumes

Update: February 16 at 9:40am

The outbreak at the Shaunavon Hospital and Care Centre has been rescinded and visitation at the facility may now resume.  The outbreak previously declared at the Herbert and District Integrated Health Facility has also been declared over.

While visitation at both facilities has now resumed, illnesses continue to circulate in many communities.  Anyone who is feeling ill or has signs and symptoms of an illness is asked to refrain from visiting a health facility unless to seek medical attention.  Please only visit if you are symptom free.  As well, infection control measures should continue to be practiced in homes and businesses. Frequent and proper handwashing are very important to eliminate the spreading of illnesses as well as coughing/sneezing into a tissue, sleeve, or crook of your elbow, staying home when ill, and frequently cleaning commonly touched surfaces.

The Region thanks the general public for adhering to the visitation restrictions during the outbreak.  Thanks is also extended to staff and public health/inspection control teams for their diligence in working to rescind the outbreak as quickly as possible.

Update: February 13 at 10:25am

Dr. David Torr, Medical Health Officer, has rescinded the respiratory outbreak of coronavirus oc43 that has been in place at the Herbert and District Integrated Health Facility.  The outbreak in Herbert was originally declared on February 7.

Visitation at the Herbert facility is no longer restricted.  Anyone experiencing signs and symptoms of an illness currently or within the last seven days is asked to refrain from visiting the facility unless to seek medical attention. It is important to continue to minimize the spread of illness into and out of the facility.

The respiratory illness outbreak in Shaunavon remains in place with two residents currently showing signs and symptoms.  Lab results are still pending to determine the illness type that is being experienced in the long term care side of the Shaunavon Hospital and Care Centre.  Visiting restrictions remain in place and are limited to end of life situations only where special arrangements may be made with facility staff.

Good and thorough infection control practices should remain in place in all communities.  This includes frequent hand washing, staying home when ill, regularly cleaning commonly touched surfaces in the home and workplace, and sneezing/cough into a tissue, sleeve, or the crook of your elbow.

Update: February 9 at 4:50pm

The Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory has confirmed that the virus circulating within the Herbert and District Integrated Health Facility is coronavirus OC43.

Coronaviruses are common viruses that most people get some time in their lives.  They usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses.

There are several different groupings of coronaviruses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).  Coronavirus OC43 is not the same as SARS or MERS.  Coronavirus OC43 is common around the world with symptoms including runny nose, cough, sore throat, and fever.

To read more about coronaviruses please visit the Centres for Disease Control website.

The illness type circulating in Shaunavon remains unknown.

Update: February 9 at 2:40pm

The Shaunavon Hospital and Care Centre has been placed under outbreak status due to the presence of respiratory illness amongst several of the facilities long term care residents.  The Herbert and District Integrated Health Facility also remains under outbreak status.

Visitation restrictions have been put in place during these outbreaks to minimize illness being brought into or carried out of the facilities. Until further notice visitation is restricted to an end of life situation where the facility should be contacted to discussion the options available for family members to visit their loved one.

Please note that the outbreaks in Herbert and Shaunavon affect long-term care services only; acute and emergency services remain available at both facilities.

Respiratory viruses are contagious.  They are easily spread by coughing, sneezing, and direct contact through nasal and throat secretions.  Symptoms include fever and chills, cough, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, and a runny or stuffy nose.

Immunization is an important step to protect yourself and those around you. In addition to immunization other measures to protect yourself include proper hand hygiene with warm water and soap, staying home when ill unless seeking medical attention, coughing and sneezing into your sleeve or the crook of your elbow, and frequently cleaning commonly touched surfaces.  Parents with young children should wash their hands thoroughly before and after changing a diaper.  Hand sanitizers should not be used as a complete replacement for proper hand hygiene.

Read more information in the respiratory illness outbreak news release.

Original message: February 7 at 4:20pm

Under the guidance of Medical Health Officer Dr. David Torr, an outbreak has been declared at the Herbert and District Integrated Health Facility due to the presence of signs and symptoms of an unknown respiratory illness amongst the facility’s long term care residents.

This outbreak affects the long-term care side of the facility only.  All acute/emergency services are still available at the facility.

Due to this declaration, please consider the following:

  • Until further notice, visitation to the facility will be restricted.  The only exceptions to these restrictions will be in the event of an ‘end of life’ situation, where the nurse in charge at the facility can be contacted to discuss the options that are available for the family members to visit their loved one.
  • Outbreak has been declared due to the presence of an unconfirmed respiratory illness.  Samples are being forwarded to the Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory in Regina for analysis and confirmation of the illness type.
  • Presently, there are 5 long term care residents within the facility who have been identified as meeting the signs and symptoms of this illness.
  • Enhanced cleaning and infection control protocols have been implemented within the facility in an attempt to remove the illness.

Public Health and Infection Control Team members are actively involved and are providing guidance into the ongoing steps being taken to eradicate the illness.  The Health Region is strongly emphasizing that individuals in all communities do what they can to prevent the spread of illness/sickness to others.  Frequent and proper handwashing, staying home when ill, and enhanced cleaning of hard surfaces within your homes/businesses should always be the normal practice.

Respiratory infections are infections of the respiratory tract, including upper (head and chest) and lower (lungs).  Symptoms of respiratory illnesses include congestion, cough, runny nose, sore throat, facial pressure, sneezing, watery eyes, ear congestion, fatigues, headache, shortness of breath, malaise, and high fever. Symptoms usually begin 1-3 days after exposure and usually end within 7-10 days of onset. Read more about Respiratory Illnesses.

Updates and additional information regarding this outbreak will be posted as they become available.