To keep staff and patients safe, we release a bulletin of ongoing and recently ended outbreaks in licensed long-term and acute care facilities throughout the region.
Below is a list of infectious disease outbreaks (e.g. C. difficile, norovirus, influenza) declared at acute and long-term care facilities (LTCF) within the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) region. These include VCH owned and operated, Providence Health Care, Provincial Health Services and contracted facilities.
What is an outbreak?
Outbreaks occur when infected people, including patients, staff, volunteers, contracted workers and visitors, come to our hospitals and health care facilities and infect others.
The Medical Health Officer (MHO) determines when an outbreak will be declared. For most infectious diseases, an outbreak is declared if three or more cases involving patients and/or staff occur within a designated time frame and in a specific area or unit. For C. difficile, an outbreak is declared when the number of cases increases above what is normally experienced. For COVID-19, the MHO will consider multiple factors including vaccination coverage and severity of illness.
What should I do if there's an outbreak?
The best way to prevent the spread of infections is to wash your hands and to get an annual flu shot.
Wash your hands or use the alcohol-based hand rub available when you come in and when you leave. Follow instructions given by staff during admission and when visiting patients. Look for signs that identify if other steps need to be taken, such as wearing a gown or mask. Learn more at How to wash your hands - Sneezes & Diseases website.
Please reconsider visiting hospitals or care homes if you have had a fever or intestinal problem in the three days before your visit.
For more information, follow the extra precautions outlined for visitors of patients who are infected.
How does VCH respond to an outbreak?
We have strict infection control protocols that are immediately followed when an outbreak is declared. Our goal is to prevent the further spread of the infection through:
- Careful monitoring
- Increased housekeeping
- Restricting patient admissions and transfers from outbreak wards or facilities