WINNIPEG -- St. Boniface Hospital is temporarily suspending patient visits until further notice.

This comes after a third outbreak was declared at the hospital Saturday morning. The hospital said it is currently investigating an outbreak linked to the B5 unit.

An outbreak was first declared in the E6 unit on Friday, Oct. 16, followed by an outbreak in the E5 unit on Wednesday, Oct. 21.

To date, 22 patients and nine staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. One death has also been associated with the outbreaks.

In a news release Saturday night, St. Boniface Hospital said suspending patient visits is one of many measures aimed at containing the COVID-19 outbreaks. 

“While we understand that this will be difficult for patients and their families, patient and staff health and safety is paramount as we make every effort to contain the COVID-19 outbreaks,” said Martine Bouchard, St. Boniface Hospital President and CEO.

The hospital said it has already implemented other outbreak protocols, including thoroughly cleaning with hospital grade disinfectants, ensuring proper use of PPE, ensuring proper physical distancing on unit and in common areas, and ensuring proper hand hygiene practices are being followed. 

The hospital is encouraging families to take advantage of virtual visits. 

The hospital noted rules for labouring patients and end-of-life patients remain unchanged. It also said scheduled appointments will continue as usual.