MONTREAL -- Montreal health authorities are asking all patients who have recently visited an east-end hospital to get a COVID-19 test after an outbreak among emergency room staff there.

A "massive screening" of current patients and staff is underway at the Santa Cabrini hospital on St. Zotique East, just south of Saint-Leonard.

Four staff members have tested positive, said a spokesperson from the health district that covers Montreal East.

Patients are being rerouted away from the ER, and anyone in the area "with minor health problems" is asked to contact a family doctor or visit a medical clinic, according to a release from the health district.

In the current effort to stop the outbreak, a special team is also working to identify people who had prolonged contact with those known to be infected. 

"The affected employees were quickly removed from work and replaced while they recovered," said the release.

“We are taking the situation very seriously. We were able to react quickly and every effort was made to stop this outbreak as quickly as possible," said the health district's CEO, Sylvain Lemieux.

The hospital is being cleaned and disinfected.