The Lake of the Wood District Hospital is offering more information following their two-week COVID-19 outbreak earlier this month.
An outbreak at the hospital was declared on March 6, when two patients tested positive for COVID-19. The outbreak grew and was held at nine patients and was declared over on March 20.
President and CEO of the Lake of the Woods District Hospital, Ray Racette, says they've been unable to identify how the virus entered the hospital or how it spread but speculated it could've entered through an asymptomatic visitor or asymptomatic patient visiting with others.
Racette said they're in the process of making changes to prevent an outbreak from happening again.
"We're going to require a higher level of mask when people enter the building. We're changing the ability to just come in with a cloth mask that somebody would wear from home into one that is medical grade," said Racette.
He added staff has been instructed to assume that all patients have COVID-19 when entering patient rooms, even if the patient isn't exhibiting symptoms and identified that staff members who have close contact with patients should be wearing goggles.
Racette says mass testing was key to containing the outbreak.
"When the outbreak first started we tested over 200 staff as part of surveillance testing, we tested all of our patients on our medical units, about 30 patients. In that first round of testing, that's when we discovered the extent of the outbreak," added Racette.
Staff and patients were tested at 10-days after the outbreak was declared to see if the virus had spread and whenever someone presented with symptoms to determine if the outbreak was spreading or contained.
"The outbreak was contained and there was no spread," continued Racette.
Visitor restrictions remain in effect at the hospital as the Northwestern Health Unit catchment area is in the Red/Control tier of the province's COVID-19 response framework.