69 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta Saturday; numbers up at Calgary condo and Edmonton hospital outbreaks

Misericordia Hospital outbreak another reminder to be vigilant during the pandemic
WATCH ABOVE: Alberta Health Services Dr. Mark Joffe says a COVID-19 outbreak at the Misericordia Hospital should be a warning to all Albertans that now is not the time to let their guard down during the pandemic.

Alberta saw 69 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed on Saturday, bringing active numbers to 520 provincially.

The Edmonton and Calgary zones are now close in case numbers: Edmonton zone still has the highest rate, with 228 active cases. Calgary zone currently sits at 221 cases.

In the rest of the province, there are 36 cases in the North zone, 31 in the South zone and two in the Central zone. Two other cases are in an unknown zone.

In Alberta, there are currently 42 people in hospital, eight of whom are in intensive care.

In total, 154 people have died from COVID-19 in the province, although there have been no new deaths reported since Thursday.

Read more: Can Alberta businesses ask for proof of a negative COVID-19 test?

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Calgary’s Verve Condominiums outbreak

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A condominium outbreak in Calgary’s East Village neighbourhood saw an increase of six cases Saturday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases at the building to 40.

Of those, there have been nine recoveries, meaning that there are currently 31 active cases at Verve Condominiums.

The high-rise 25-storey condo has a total of 228 units, and on Thursday, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said officials are working with building management to contain the spread.

“They’re making sure that there is enhanced cleaning,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said. “They’ve offered testing to everyone in that building whether or not they have symptoms.

“This particular outbreak, at the moment, it does seem that possibly high-touch surfaces are a mechanism. That’s still being explored.”

Edmonton’s Misericordia Hospital outbreak

The outbreak at the Misericordia Community Hospital in Edmonton saw an increase of two cases — one patient and one staff member — Saturday, according to Alberta Health.

The total number of patients who have tested positive as of Saturday is at 10. One patient died on Thursday, according to Alberta Health.

An employee at the hospital also received a positive test Saturday, bringing the total number of staff members who tested positive for the virus to nine.

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Read more: COVID-19 outbreak at Misericordia Hospital now includes 2 units, 16 cases, 1 death

According to hospital officials, that outbreak is still contained to two units in the hospital. Outbreak protocols are in place and surgical capacity is being reduced.

Covenant Health is testing all patients in the affected units as well as all staff who have worked in the areas.

Visitors are not being permitted to enter the units but can speak to family members virtually.