A sign outside the entrance to the Bulkley Valley District Hospital urges handwashing. (Thom Barker photo)

A sign outside the entrance to the Bulkley Valley District Hospital urges handwashing. (Thom Barker photo)

Four cases, one death associated with COVID outbreak at Smithers hospital

Monitoring and testing underway to identify additional cases, visitation restricted

Northern Health has confirmed there has been a death and four cases of COVID-19 associated with an outbreak at Bulkley Valley District Hospital.


Northern Health Medical Health Officers have declared a COVID-19 outbreak on the Inpatient Unit at Bulkley Valley District Hospital (BVDH) in Smithers, following lab-confirmed case among patients.

The outbreak declaration does not include the Maternity section of the BVDH Inpatient Unit, at this time.

At the time of the outbreak declaration, testing had identified four inpatients who have tested positive for COVID-19. One of the outbreak-associated patients has passed away, and Northern Health offers condolences to their family, friends and caregivers.

Monitoring and testing is underway to identify any additional cases.

Enhanced outbreak control measures are in place at Bulkley Valley District Hospital. Northern Health Public Health is closely monitoring for additional cases, and the facility is taking steps to protect the health of staff and those they care for, with enhanced outbreak precautions such as (but not limited to):

  • Restricting to essential visitors only
  • Increased frequency of cleaning and infection control measures
  • Enhanced symptom monitoring among all BVDH staff and patients
  • Limiting movement of staff and patients between care areas of the hospital

Public health officials will be monitoring the situation carefully over coming weeks and will only declare the outbreak over when they are confident that chains of transmission have been stopped.

More information on public exposures, school exposures, and facility or community outbreaks of COVID-19 within the Northern Health region, is available here: www.northernhealth.ca/health-topics/public-exposures-and-outbreaks