Calgary’s Peter Lougheed Centre adopts masking directive to curb COVID-19 infections

Staff in the Intensive Care Unit at Peter Lougheed Centre hospital in Calgary on April 17, 2020. Calgary's Peter Lougheed Centre is one of the latest hospitals to adopt Alberta Health Service's mask directive to curb the spread of COVID-19. Courtesy: Leah Hennel/ Alberta Health Services

Calgary’s Peter Lougheed Centre is one of the latest hospitals to adopt Alberta Health Service’s mask directive to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Masking is now required for Peter Lougheed Centre’s staff, physicians, volunteers, contracted service providers and laboratory workers in patient-facing areas of the hospital.

Patients and visitors are not required to wear masks, however. AHS said in an update on its website that no patient will be denied services because they are not masking.

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This comes after the province reported 843 COVID-19 cases and a 16-per cent positivity rate between Nov. 5 and Nov. 11.

Of those, 344 people are in hospital and 11 are in intensive care. The province also reported two people died during this period.

However, case numbers may be higher than reported after the Alberta government moved to a rapid antigen-based testing regime and shuttered testing centres in March this year.

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It also comes after AHS announced its new masking directive in October. It allows health zone leadership to require enhanced masking for AHS staff, health-care workers and volunteers in acute care facilities. When that enhanced masking is put into place, it would also require patients, support workers and families visiting emergency departments to mask.

Masking requirements for workers, family and visitors remain in place when recommended during an outbreak by the communicable disease control outbreak guides, for staff five days after testing positive for COVID-19, or when in contact with severely immunocompromised people.

–with files from Adam Toy, Global News.

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