Trillium Health Partners (THP) has confirmed that 73 staff and physicians have tested positive for the coronavirus.
THP operates three hospitals and health centres in the Mississauga region including Queensway Health Centre, Mississauga Hospital and Credit Valley Hospital.
True North reached out to THP to ask how many cases were at each hospital but were not provided with a breakdown.
“I don’t have a breakdown per hospital, but to date, 73 THP staff and physicians have tested positive for COVID-19,” said THP’s Senior Communications Advisor Keeley Rogers.
“Trillium Health Partners is one of the largest community hospitals in Canada with over 1,300 beds across our three main sites: Queensway Health Centre, Credit Valley Hospital and Mississauga Hospital. This number encompasses all our sites and off site locations.”
According to Rogers, to date no staff have died as a result of contracting the coronavirus.
As reported exclusively by True North, hospital staff in charge of transporting COVID-19 test samples at Credit Valley were allegedly told by THP Manager of Infection Prevention and Control Jackie Nugent that they did not need extra personal protective equipment when handling the samples.
“I don’t know how you do your laundry. But the reality is that the hospital does not need to provide specific PPE for this. For example, a nurse that is actually in direct contact with all patients. That nurse is going home and washing her uniform. There’s no change in how we are actually wearing our regular clothing but again if you are in direct contact then we wear the appropriate PPE,” Nugent told a transport employee during a March 13 conference call.
Recordings also reveal Nugent telling an employee that the coronavirus was “no different than any other virus” and required the same prevention measures as the seasonal influenza.
“The coronavirus is not a virus by which for example we’re given any special directions. So it’s no different than any other virus you’ve actually been working with every day that you’ve been coming in since,” Nugent told the employee.
“Where we were using enhanced precautions, we’re actually using the appropriate precautions now which is simply droplet contact precautions which is the same as what we would use for influenza.”
In another recording from the hospital taken on the same day, staff were informed during a meeting that Canada was “not in a pandemic.”
“We’re not in a pandemic. Other countries are because they don’t have the healthcare that you do,” an unidentified employee told hospital staff.
According to the official THP website, both Credit Valley and Mississauga Hospital have multiple units that are currently experiencing a coronavirus outbreak.