OHS Canada Magazine

Alberta declares outbreaks at hospital in Calgary, university in Edmonton

14 patients, four staff test positive for COVID-19


September 22, 2020
By The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
Categories
Health & Safety

EDMONTON — COVID-19 outbreaks have been declared at a hospital in Calgary and a university in Edmonton.

Alberta Health Services says 14 patients and four staff members have tested positive for the novel coronavirus at the Foothills Medical Centre.

One patient has died.

The outbreaks are in cardiac care and general medicine units.

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The health agency says 57 staff who work in those units are in isolation.

Patients on the affected units may not receive visitors except in end-of-life situations.

Contract tracing is underway, officials say, and the situation is being closely monitored.

“Enhanced screening measures among patients and unit staff have been implemented, and the hospital has increased infection prevention and control measures on the units to further ensure the continued safety of all patients and staff,” said a release Monday.

“The Foothills Medical Centre remains a safe place to visit and to receive care — there is no increased risk to patients coming to the hospital and all services continue to be offered, including emergency and scheduled care procedures.”

Varsity athletics paused

In Edmonton, an outbreak at a University of Alberta student residence means no varsity athletics for two weeks.

Five members of the men’s residence of St. Joseph’s College have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. They and 14 other residents of the building are isolating.

The website for the residence said, along with spiritual direction and daily mass, it is also a leader of the university’s intramural sports program.

Because some athletes live in the residence, the virus could have spread to four teams in three sports, said Andrew Sharman, the university’s vice president of facilities and operations.

“Until we can confirm the contact tracing, we just don’t want this to explode ahead of actually being able to pin it down,” Sharman said.

“It may be that we’ve already caught it, but we’d rather be preventative.”

All other residences at the University of Alberta are considered safe and at low risk of exposure.

Alberta’s last COVID-19 update on Thursday reported 1,424 active cases and 255 deaths.

By Lauren Krugel in Calgary