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Resident at Edmonton’s Kensington Village seniors’ facility dies of COVID-19

Click to play video: 'Resident at Edmonton’s Kensington Village seniors’ facility dies of COVID-19' Resident at Edmonton’s Kensington Village seniors’ facility dies of COVID-19
WATCH ABOVE: A man in his 80s who lived Shepherd's Care Foundation - Kensington Village died from COVID-19 on Friday. As Nicole Stillger explains, his death comes as the north Edmonton seniors' care facility has been dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 – Apr 10, 2020

A resident at a north Edmonton seniors’ care facility, which has been dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19, has died of the disease.

Shepherd’s Care Foundation – Kensington Village president and CEO Shawn Terlson announced the death on the company’s website Friday afternoon.

Terlson said the resident lived in the rental apartments at the facility and died Friday morning.

“We extend our condolences to their families and friends, to their fellow residents at Kensington Village and to our staff who have been tirelessly providing compassionate care to our residents,” Terlson said in the statement.

“I understand that this is a very anxious time for staff, residents and their family members. Everyone in the Shepherd’s Care Family cares deeply for the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of our residents. From the outset of this terrible pandemic, we have been doing everything in our power to protect the health and safety of our residents, staff and service providers.”

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Terlson confirmed to Global News the victim was a man in his 80s with pre-existing health conditions.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Questions raised over moving seniors out of long-term care homes

The Kensington Village facility has been dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 since mid-March.

According to Alberta Health, a confirmed outbreak is declared at a continuing care facility as soon as one staff member or resident tests positive for COVID-19.

On Thursday, Shepherd’s Care Foundation confirmed on its website there was one additional case of COVID-19 in the seniors’ rental apartments of the Kensington Village facility, bringing the total number of cases to 18 — six staff members and 12 residents.

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On Friday, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said the number of confirmed cases had increased to 19, and confirmed the death.

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Click to play video: 'Alberta records 7 more COVID-19 deaths as total infections reach 1,500' Alberta records 7 more COVID-19 deaths as total infections reach 1,500
Alberta records 7 more COVID-19 deaths as total infections reach 1,500 – Apr 10, 2020

The Kensington site is broken up into different areas — the long-term and supportive living areas and an independent living area.

Of the 12 residents confirmed to have contracted the novel coronavirus, the company said 11 are in seniors’ rental apartments and independently owned condos, and one is in supportive living.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Another death at McKenzie Towne; families continue coming forward with questions

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday efforts have been made to restrict movement between the different areas of the Kensington Village facility.

“Our local Edmonton Zone medical officers of health are supporting that facility to make sure that all outbreak precautions are taken and that they’re limiting spread into some of those other wings where there are more vulnerable people,” Hinshaw explained.

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She said once an outbreak is declared in a facility like this, certain protocols are put in place. Those include limiting staff to working only at the outbreak location and no other facilities.

“They would not be able to work in other sites, or even in this particular case, wouldn’t be moving from wing to wing,” Hinshaw said.

She said enhanced cleaning protocols would be enacted for high-touch areas, any resident who is feeling ill — even if they haven’t been tested for COVID-19 — would be kept isolated. Any staff assisting ill patients are required to wear personal protective equipment, she added.

Other protocols include limiting transfers in and out of a facility with an outbreak.

“Typically, we would hold off on that unless there was a safety issue for that person until the outbreak was over. If someone does need to be moved, for example — if they need care in hospital — then precautions would be taken even if the person wasn’t a confirmed case,” Hinshaw said.

“If they are moved into a different location, such as needing hospital treatment for some other medical illness, they would be put on isolation as a precaution, if they were moved to get needed care.”

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Children of aging parents face dilemma about moving seniors out of long-term care homes' Coronavirus: Children of aging parents face dilemma about moving seniors out of long-term care homes
Coronavirus: Children of aging parents face dilemma about moving seniors out of long-term care homes – Apr 9, 2020

On Tuesday, the Alberta government banned most visitors to all continuing care facilities in the province. However, Kensington’s long-term care, designated supportive living and independent living areas have been closed to all visitors since March 23.

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On Friday, Hinshaw announced that all workers in long-term care facilities in Alberta must wear masks when providing direct patient care or working within two metres of others.

In addition, all workers at long-term and supportive living sites across Alberta will only be allowed to work at one site. These measures will be phased in by late next week, Hinshaw said.

READ MORE: Alberta’s top doctor bans most visitors at continuing care facilities

Shepherd’s Care Foundation is holding two telephone town halls next week for families of residents at all of its facilities. Families will be given time to ask questions of the company’s president and CEO.

The first night — Thursday, April 16 at 7 p.m. — is for families of residents in the long-term and supportive living.

The second night — Friday, April 17 at 7 p.m. — is for families of residents in independent condos and seniors’ rental apartments.

More information on the town halls can be found on the Shepherd’s Care Foundation’s website.

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