Viral outbreak at Glengarry Memorial Hospital

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By Shawna O'Neill
Viral outbreak at Glengarry Memorial Hospital
Sign posted at the Glengarry Memorial Hospital on Wednesday, Jan. 8. Submitted photo.

ALEXANDRIA, Ontario - The Glengarry Memorial Hospital (GMH) announced on Wednesday, Jan. 8 that it is closed to visitors amidst a gastrointestinal virus outbreak.

“Hospital representatives have confirmed that it is a simple outbreak of gastrointestinal virus, which is very common in the community; there is no public safety concern at this time. Staff are working to remediate the outbreak as quickly as possible...exceptions are of course being made for compassionate reasons,” read a GMH statement, seen on the Township of North Glengarry's Facebook page here.

The GMH CEO Michael Cohen said that he expects the outbreak to be over shortly, and the measures being taken are in effort to reach a faster resolution.

“This bug is very prominent in the community, people are coming in with it and we are taking measures to protect patients who are already here,” said Cohen.

Cohen explained that this is the first time the GMH has shared news of an outbreak on social media and it is garnering a lot of attention.

“We would hate to have someone drive in...and then find out access is restricted (to visitors), so we thought it was the right thing to do,” Cohen explained.

Cohen said this is the first time this year that the hospital has experienced a gastro virus outbreak but it is not uncommon in healthcare settings.

“We have periodic outbreaks...(we've) been on isolation before...” said Cohen.

The hospital will resume normal visiting hours once the outbreak is over.

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