Nearly 500 Alberta healthcare workers have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a recent update from Alberta Health.
“There have been a total of 472 healthcare workers impacted by COVID-19. Of these, 181 are currently active cases and 291 are recovered,” says the update.
Starting Monday, total testing numbers for healthcare workers will be regularly updated, says Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
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“Hospitals remain safe thanks to the diligent effort of healthcare workers,” said Hinshaw in Monday’s press conference update.
“We are doing this in the interest of transparency, and I must remind you, there is no reason to assume healthcare workers may present a higher risk of spreading infection.”
According to a spokesperson from Alberta Health Services, as of April 27, 15,603 AHS employees have been tested for COVID-19, and of those, 137 have tested positive.
“Of the 137 employees who have tested positive, 12 (8.8%) are confirmed to have acquired their infection through a workplace exposure,” said Sabrina Atwal of Alberta Health Services in an email statement to Daily Hive.
“As of April 27, 933 AHS physicians have been tested for COVID-19 and of those tested, 22 have tested positive (2.4%). Of the 22 physicians who have tested positive, none have been confirmed to have acquired their infection through a workplace exposure.”
According to AHS, the positive cases listed above are not linked to faulty personal protective equipment.
“AHS is supporting those employees who have been exposed through the workplace and we continue to do everything we can to prevent further exposures,” said Atwal.
Dr. Hinshaw outlined the need to remain supportive during this time and to not stigmatize those who test positive.
“We need to support these workers and their effort to protect patient health, not to create fear or stigmatize them,” said Dr. Hinshaw.
Alberta Health did not respond to Daily Hive’s request for comment by the time of publication.