WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor Regional Hospital says a COVID-19 outbreak has been declared for the seventh floor of the Ouellette Campus.

On Friday, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit announced it was investigating with the hospitals a potential “cluster of cases” at the Ouellette Campus and Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare’s Tayfour Campus.

WRH officials say they are now able to confirm that all patients swabbed on the seventh floor (east and west)on Friday, were all negative for COVID-19. Four staff members who worked on the seventh floor are positive for COVID-19.

The hospital says many other staff have received their results back already and tested negative.

The seventh floor is a medical or non-surgical floor consisting of 60 beds, accounting for more than 10 per cent of WRH’s bed capacity.

Even though COVID-19 has not been shown at this time to have spread from WRH staff to patients, or between patients, or between patients and staff, an outbreak is being declared by the Windsor-Essex Public Health Unit.

“The declaration of an outbreak on the seventh floor of the Ouellette campus will create patient flow issues and will start to impact scheduled/elective surgeries the longer the outbreak remains in place,” said WRH chief of staff Dr. Wassim Saad.

“Although the seventh floor is a medical floor in order to admit medical patients from the Emergency Department, we will need to start to create internal capacity at both the Met and Ouellette campuses. The age and configuration of the seventh floor at Ouellette does not allow us to continue to admit patients to the seventh floor during an outbreak even though there has been no spread to patients at this time,” added Saad.

WRH officials say on Friday, as precautionary measures, immediate steps to contain COVID-19 spread were put in place as though an outbreak had already been declared.

“I want to thank our healthcare partners in the region for supporting us during this declaration of an outbreak,”said hospital CEO David Musyj.

All visitation to the floor will continue to be suspended until further notice.