Arnprior hospital declares influenza outbreak over

ARNPRIOR – Twelve days later, Arnprior hospital officials have declared the influenza outbreak in the inpatient unit over.

On Jan. 8 Arnprior Regional Health (ARH) suspended visits to its inpatient unit citing a nasty outbreak of a respiratory illness.

“We won’t be allowing visitors to the unit until such time as public health says we can,” ARH CEO Eric Hanna said at the time. “Basically, until eight days has passed where there hasn’t been any other new people diagnosed with the influenza.”

ARH did not release information related to how many patients were infected by the influenza. On Jan. 13 the hospital divided the unit in two to help contain the outbreak. Hospital staff separated those admitted to the inpatient unit prior to Jan. 10 from those admitted after.

The separation allowed the hospital to allow some visits but reported on Jan. 14 the hospital was still dealing with the outbreak.

ARH did keep its emergency department and other units open during the outbreak. Today, ARH staff declared the outbreak over.

“As of today (Jan. 20), our respiratory illness outbreak on the inpatient unit has been declared over,” ARH communications and community engagement manager Melissa McDermott released in a statement. “Our team will continue to do active surveillance. However, all our visitor restrictions have now been lifted.”

The ARH communicator also used the statement as a time to remind community members to get their flu shot.

“We continue to encourage the community to get their flu shot and practice regular hand hygiene to help stop the spread of illness,” McDermott said.