5 newborns test negative for coronavirus following outbreak at Hamilton hospital

There have been five babies tested for coronavirus following an outbreak at a hospital unit in Hamilton. All tests results came back negative.

There have been five babies tested for coronavirus following an outbreak at a hospital unit in Hamilton that takes care of premature infants. The tests results all came back negative, according to CBC News.

Direct contact was made between the babies and Special Care Nursery staff members who tested positive for the virus at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, says a spokesperson.

In an email delivered on Wednesday, Maria Hayes wrote, "All of those babies were tested and the tests came back negative. We'll continue to closely monitor the situation."

The coronavirus outbreak in the nursery was declared by public health officials on Monday. The nursery cares for newborns babies that are up to two months premature along with babies with separate health issues.

A healthcare worker that was in contact with the newborns tested positive for the virus on Friday and another who had also made contact tested positive on Sunday.

A third staff member who tested positive for the virus on March 31 did not have any contact with the babies as they were working in an administration role away from them.

The hospital made sure to segregate the babies who were thought to be exposed to the infected workers and placed them in a separate area.

St. Joseph’s is still permitting parents to visit their newborns, though strict screening tests are involved.

Dr. David Russell, interim chief of staff at the hospital called the outbreak an "unsettling time for parents" and noted that one-on-one sessions with parents are being planned to talk about and answer questions concerning the incident.

"I think that parents would be alarmed by this and very concerned and wonder whether it's safe to continue their care here,” he said on Monday. “We have a dedicated plan with physicians, nursing staff ... to sit down individually with each parent and explain to them what we know ... [and] how we're monitoring how their baby is doing."