LONDON, ONT. -- It’s a number that is continuing to rise. The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) has reported on its website that it has 14 staff members that have been confirmed positive with COVID-19.

“There have been enhanced staff numbers identified since our last update,” says Dr. Michael Payne, medical director of Infection Prevention and Control at LHSC. “We have been performing enhanced surveillance in our facilities and I can assure you that the infected individuals have been cohorted and we do feel the issue has been contained.”

Last week LHSC confirmed two outbreaks at its University Hospital building. The first outbreak was on the 4th floor in General Medicine and another on the 9th floor in Orthopaedics.

Payne says Monday’s number of confirmed infected staff aren’t all related to last week's outbreaks.

“These increasing case numbers that have been reported are not unexpected given the increased COVID numbers in our community that public health has been describing over the past several weeks.”

Payne says what’s important to note is that LHSC has approximately 10,000 staff members and despite the increased case numbers, the hospital is still safe for staff, patients and visitors.

“Anyone who has been affected in these outbreaks have been identified and cohorted, and the rest of the patient care areas are open and functioning as normal.”

There has also been a slight increase in the number of inpatients at LHSC with COVID-19, which sits at eight.

Payne says again, that’s not unexpected in this second wave, and the hospital is prepared for the increase in patient numbers.

“Our capacity on the ward and in our critical care units is still good and we can still provide routine care for our patients so I can assure you at this moment our hospital is open and safe and ready to accept any sick patients who need care.”