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Woman at Burnaby Hospital during COVID-19 outbreak now has symptoms

A patient details what happened at Burnaby Hospital this week
Burnaby Hospital. NOW file photo

Just five days after a devastating COVID-19 outbreak at Burnaby Hospital was declared over a new one was announced on Tuesday at the city’s hospital.

And Jane was there when that new outbreak was announced.

Jane (not her real name as she wants her privacy protected) had been admitted to Burnaby Hospital a few days before after needing an emergency procedure.

I spoke with her to find out what it must be like to be in a hospital for something other than COVID-19 and have all hell break loose right in front of you. She was forced to go to a hospital that had just seen more than 100 cases between patients and staff, plus at least 10 deaths.

“It was so unsettling,” Jane said. “You just feel helpless.”

When Jane was admitted to BH, she was first tested to see if she also had COVID-19. She did not and so she was admitted.

Jane said patients who did not have COVID-19 were put in a separate area, but it wasn’t a completely different ward behind a door.

“There were those cloth curtains that separated us,” Jane said. “It didn’t really feel much safer.”

Then, suddenly, she was told by a hospital staffer that there was a new outbreak of COVID-19 at the hospital.

“It was hard because I had no choice about being there,” Jane said.

All she felt was frustration and helplessness as she waited to heal enough that they would discharge her.

While she was waiting, she said she wasn’t impressed at watching some of the cleaning efforts by hospital. One particular incident, she said, involved watching a cleaner take a dirty piece of material and just drag it across the floor.

“I was a little appalled by some of the cleaning methods I saw being used by some of the custodians at the hospital,” Jane said. “I expect higher standards at a hospital.”

I spoke to Jane on Saturday morning after she was discharged. She contacted me Saturday night to say she was now exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and has been booked for a test at the Central Park testing site.

“Merry Christmas to me,” Jane said.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.