GBGH COVID-19 outbreak update: December 17, 2020

A hospital room showing a bed, side table, tray and view out the window

December 17, 2020 – The COVID-19 outbreak on all inpatient units at Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH), declared December 4 in consultation with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU), continues. Through extensive contact tracing with public health, the hospital is making significant progress in determining the original location and source of the outbreak.

As of the end of day December 17, there have been the following cases related to the outbreak:

  • 18 patient cases
    • Ten remain admitted in hospital
    • Six discharged home
    • Two outbreak-related deaths
  • 22 staff/credentialed staff cases
  • One visitor related to the outbreak (high risk contact of a COVID positive patient during their period of communicability)

At this time, all the cases confirmed to date are related to the initial transmission in early December. There have been no new sources of transmission found since outbreak infection prevention and control protocols were implemented on December 4.

“We know the incubation period for COVID-19 can be up to 14 days long,” says Dr. Dan Lee, chief of Emergency Medicine and COVID-19 medical lead, GBGH. “The cases we’ve discovered over the past 13 days, through our surveillance testing and from looking at connections between cases, are all related to the initial source of the outbreak. Although we’ve had infection prevention and control measures in place from the outset of the pandemic, the enhanced precautions post-outbreak have helped prevent new transmissions.”

At this time, non-urgent and elective surgeries and procedures are still postponed. GBGH is taking guidance from public health regarding timing to safely resume these services.

“We understand the postponement of non-urgent or elective procedures and surgeries is never ideal,” says Dr. Vik Ralhan, chief of staff and chair, Elective Surgical and Procedural Oversight Committee, GBGH. “Some conditions can become more urgent when delayed, it is frustrating for patients who have to wait, not only for safety, but quality of life as well. Our physicians always have timely patient care at the top of their minds and are eager to proceed with a ramp up when authorized. The resumption date is being evaluated on a daily basis to get elective procedures and surgeries up and running. We recognize this is frustrating, but want everyone to know that one of our top priorities is to get up and running safely.”

Statistics related to the outbreak are updated daily and can be found on the GBGH website –



Jennifer Moore

Communications Officer, GBGH

705-526-1300 ext 5177