Variant COVID-19 outbreak sweeps Alberta retirement home

Mar 3 2021, 3:45 pm

An Edmonton retirement home has been hit with a COVID-19 outbreak involving a variant of concern that grew from a single case to 27 infections in a matter of days.

Residents at Churchill Manor were offered their first dose of COVID-19 on Monday, but it was apparently too late to stop the outbreak, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said.

The first case was discovered on Friday, and by Wednesday 27 staff and residents had become infected. Of those, 19 infections are confirmed to be variants of concern.

The virus was already spreading in the home as residents rolled up their arms. But Hinshaw hopes the recent immunizations could prevent more new infections.

“Local public health teams and the operator are taking this extremely seriously,” she said.

Health officials have created new safety protocols for the variant outbreak, including not allowing any staff to work at more than one location for the duration of the outbreak. Everyone who enters the home must also wear a mask and eye protection continuously.

Hinshaw also announced 402 new COVID-19 cases and 12 new deaths Wednesday. There are currently 251 people in hospital with COVID-19 including 48 in intensive care.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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