There was concerning news from the GTA on Tuesday evening as a major hospital declared a COVID-19 outbreak. On March 31, four patients in the same unit tested positive for the virus at Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga. This group has been relocated to a specific COVID-19 assessment centre on the hospital's site.

Because four new cases were found in such a small area of the hospital and in such a short time period, this is considered an active outbreak, rather than simply instances of new cases.

According to a statement released by the hospital's operators Trillium Health Partners, they are working closely with Peel Public Health in order to protect current patients and staff.

"Under the guidance of THP Infection Prevention and Control, the unit was placed on appropriate precautionary measures, and all steps have been taken to quickly manage and identify any individuals with potential exposure to the virus," it read.

"All other patients on the unit are being actively monitored for symptoms associated with COVID-19."

According to CBC, immediate precautions have been taken to protect other patients and staff. Among of them is a no visitor policy.

Credit Valley Hospital serves much of north Mississauga, including the Streetsville, Meadowvale, and Erin Mills areas. It is just over 15 minutes' drive from the University of Toronto Mississauga campus.

The outbreak came just hours after THP announced it will be temporarily closing the urgent care centre at another of its three sites, Queensway Health Centre in Etobicoke, starting at 5 p.m. on March 31.

That is in order to free up more space for COVID-19 treatment, according to Mississauga.com.

That special focus unit will have more than 650 beds available, in addition to THP's more than 1,500 beds, across their three facilities in the GTA. The third of those sites is Mississauga Hospital.

“This is an unprecedented time and the hospital continues to take strong measures to care for our community during COVID-19,” said THP president and CEO Michelle DiEmanuele in a news release on March 30.

"As a hospital, we will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people, patients and community in partnership with local and provincial authorities.”

Earlier on Tuesday, public Ontario schools extended their closures until at least May, leaving students out of class and working through distance learning. 

The City of Toronto has also announced it is cancelling all events in the city until the end of June, including the annual pride Parade, which takes place at the end of that month.

As of March 31, there are close to 2,000 cases of COVID-19 in the province.

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