The Saskatoon Health Region has closed St. Paul’s hospital to visitors, because an outbreak of a  gastro-intestinal  virus is getting worse.

The health region announced the closure Tuesday evening, calling it “extraordinary measures.” The region says there have been more new cases of diarrhea and vomiting among patients and staff.

Last Friday the hospital announced it was closing two units to visitors, because of a Norwalk-like virus. But as late as Monday, the hospital was hoping the outbreak was contained.

Now, the health region is asking people not to visit the hospital at all. Those with day surgeries and procedures scheduled should keep their appointments, but have to understand they will be restricted to their care area.

Urgent and emergency procedures will go ahead, and the ER will remain open.    

The health region says the virus strikes people very quickly, which means people may not know they are carrying it, until they begin to get sick.

The closure to visitors will remain in effect until further notice.