Arnprior hospital separates inpatient unit in response to influenza outbreak

ARNPRIOR – While visits are still verboten, the Arnprior hospital has taken steps t deal with a respiratory illness outbreak in its inpatient unit.

On Wednesday, Jan. 8, Arnprior Regional Health (ARH) suspended visits to its inpatient unit following a flu outbreak in the hospital. The influenza breakout was confined to the inpatient unit, but hospital staff did not disclose how many patients were stricken by the flu.

Today (Jan. 13) ARH representative provided an update on the outbreak.

“In response to our respiratory illness outbreak, ARH has successfully and safely been able to separate our inpatient unit into two distinct units,” ARH communications and community engagement manager Melissa McDermott said. “As a result, we now have one section for patients admitted prior to Jan. 10, and a second separate section for patients admitted after Jan. 10. We have dedicated staff for each section and this new distinct unit means admitted patients do not have to stay in the Emergency Department for an extended period.”

 This new separation means some visits will now be allowed to the inpatient unit.

“Visitors are welcome to visit their family and friends who were admitted after Jan. 10,” McDermott said. “Visitors are still not permitted in the Outbreak Unit, patients admitted prior to Jan. 10, however, we have provided each patient with complimentary access to the telephone service so they can stay connected with their friends and family.”

 While the Emergency Department is open, McDermott encourages residents to consider alternatives when responding to health care issues.

“Our Emergency Department remains open,” she said. “We advise the community to consider where they will get the most appropriate medical care and avoid the Emergency Department if it is not necessary. “We also encourage our community to get their flu shot and practice regular hand hygiene to help stop the spread of illness.”

 McDermott says ARH will provide another update later in the week.