Another COVID outbreak has been declared at Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver.
The outbreak, the third to hit the hospital since the start of the pandemic, is on the fourth floor of the hospital in the 4 West and 4 East wards.
So far 16 patients and one staff member have tested positive for COVID-19.
The affected wards have been closed to new admissions and transfers, according to Vancouver Coastal Health, and all non-essential visits have been put on hold, except for those for dying patients.
Patients and staff at the hospital are being monitored and staff in the affected wards are being restricted to working in that area.
Drop-in COVID testing is also being offered at the hospital to all staff who worked on the affected wards at any time during the last two weeks.
The outbreak comes at a time when Lions Gate Hospital is already under pressure from patients who have been hospitalized with COVID, some of them in intensive care.
Some elective surgeries at the hospital have also been cancelled to relieve pressures on staff who care for those patients.
In the last COVID outbreak at Lions Gate Hospital in November, 12 people died out of 59 cases linked to the outbreak, which included 31 patients and 28 staff. That outbreak was declared over Dec. 24.
A previous COVID-19 outbreak on the hospital's sixth and seventh floors in April and May saw confirmed cases in 16 patients and 12 staff members, which led to nine deaths, all among patients.