Toronto Western Hospital COVID-19 outbreak ‘likely’ linked to Delta variant

As hospitals across Ontario continue to see a receding of hospitalizations and COVID-19 cases, Toronto Western Hospital is dealing with an outbreak that officials say is “more than likely” being fuelled by the Delta variant.

According to statistics by University Health Network (UHN), the parent organization for the hospital, the outbreak was declared in the 6A unit on Thursday. To date, five patients and three staff members have been affected.

In a memo sent to staff and posted on the UHN website, those who tested positive for COVID-19 included people who had one or two vaccine doses

Read more: Ontario reports 270 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths

“The good news is that the cases so far are mild. The bad news is that the people have been infected even when vaccinated,” the memo noted.

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“It has never been more important – even when vaccinated – to continue to follow hospital infection prevention and control and public health measures.”

Officials encouraged people to get fully inoculated against the virus as soon as they are eligible in an effort to help minimize the chance of hospitalization.

Read more: Ontarians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as province expands 2nd dose eligibility again

Meanwhile, they also pushed for continuing practices like wearing face coverings, physical distancing, not attending indoor gatherings, washing hands and staying home when feeling ill with any symptoms — even if minor.

Looking at the latest local data published by Toronto Public Health, there is currently only one institutional outbreak in the city. While there were 47 new COVID-19 cases in Toronto reported on Monday, the current seven-day, moving average of daily cases sits at 96. The seven-day, moving average for new hospitalizations currently sits at eight people.

When it comes to capacity at Toronto’s hospitals, the ICU bed occupancy rate is currently at 62 per cent and the acute bed occupancy rate is at 83 per cent.

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