Suspected Norovirus outbreak spreads at Ross Memorial Hospital


KAWARTHA LAKES-The Ross Memorial Hospital has expanded visitor restrictions to include the first floor of the Continuing Care Program (CCP1) after several patients and staff members have become ill with what is suspected to be Norovirus.

On March 7, an outbreak was declared on the 3rd floor Medical Unit by the RMH Outbreak Team in conjunction with the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit. Today, an outbreak was declared on CCP1.

“The Hospital is taking special measures to control the spread of the illness, including heightened attention to personal protective equipment (PPE) and special cleaning procedures. Patients will not be admitted to the affected Units, nor will patients be transferred from the Units unless clinically required.” said Kim Coulter RMH Employee and Community Relations.

Norovirus infection can cause the sudden onset of severe vomiting and diarrhea according to the Mayo Clinic.  The virus is highly contagious and commonly spread through food or water that is contaminated during preparation or contaminated surfaces. You can also be infected through close contact with an infected person.

Diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting typically begin 12 to 48 hours after exposure. Norovirus symptoms last one to three days, and most people recover completely without treatment. However, for some people — especially infants, older adults and people with underlying disease — vomiting and diarrhea can be severely dehydrating and require medical attention.
Staff at the Ross Memorial Hospital have been in contact with the families of patients in the affected areas to advise them of the visiting restrictions and to encourage them to phone their loved ones, or to email using the Hospital’s email address.


The outbreak restrictions impact the 3rd Floor Medical Unit and 1st Floor Continuing Care Unit only. All other areas of the Hospital, including outpatient clinics, are functioning normally and visiting is still permitted.

All who come to the Hospital are encouraged to clean their hands often, and to avoid visiting if you are feeling unwell.