(Nanaimo Regional General Hospital)

Island Health has confirmed the region’s first outbreak at a health care facility, in a statement Wednesday evening.

Five staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 in a transitional care unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital as of November 11.

A statement from Island Health says the outbreak is limited to the one unit at this time, and that unit is currently closed to visitors and new admissions.

All patients in the affected unit have been notified and are being tested for COVID-19.

Public health officials are also working to inform the families of patients who cannot share information about the outbreak themselves.

Island Health is in the process of informing families of patients who are unable to share information of the outbreak.

Enhanced cleaning and contact tracing is underway to contain the outbreak.

The statement from Island Health says the hospital’s emergency department remains open at this time and no other parts of the facility have been impacted.

This is the first reported COVID-19 outbreak at any health care facility on Vancouver Island.

Last week, two high schools in Nanaimo reported cluster outbreaks or exposures to the virus.

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