Health officials have now confirmed 74 cases of COVID-19 in Alberta’s long-term care homes, as well as another death McKenzie Towne facility.
Alberta Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced the death of a man in his 90s from the McKenzie Towne facility, as well as the increase of confirmed cases at that centre from 41 to 65.
Additionally, Manoir du Lac in Mclennan, AB, has reported two confirmed cases in their facility, including Thursday’s second death: a man in his 80s.
Outbreaks at Carewest Glenmore Park, Shepherd’s Care Kensington, and the Father Lacombe Care Centre have reported no new cases at the time of this writing.
Dr. Hinshaw also announced that there are now nine continuing care centres experiencing outbreaks, with Calgary’s Cedars Villa, AgeCare Seton, and Carewest Sarcee affected.
Dr. Hinshaw emphasized that the three new outbreak announcements are precautionary. This is due to the inclusion of confirmed cases in staff that work at two or more facilities, including facilities experiencing outbreaks like the McKenzie Towne Centre, and does not mean that there have yet been any confirmed cases at these newly announced facilities.
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Dr. Hinshaw announced new measures and outbreak protocols to try to prevent the spread of the virus in continuing care facilities.
“It has become clear over the past couple of days that we must do more to protect those in congregate settings,” said Dr. Hinshaw during the live conference.
“That is why, effective today, I am issuing new standards that operators and staff in these facilities must follow in the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 outbreak.”
These measures are enforceable by law, and require staff and operators to notify public health as soon as a case is suspected or confirmed, or if two or more residents exhibit coronavirus symptoms.
It also requires that staff who work at multiple facilities to inform their supervisor if they have worked or are working at a centre that has a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus.