The Misericordia Hospital in Edmonton is the site of the largest COVID-19 outbreak in an acute care setting in Alberta.
No new cases were reported in staff or patients on Friday. In total, there have been five deaths linked to the outbreak, 16 other patients have been infected as well as 16 staff.
The hospital continues to remain under full facility outbreak due to COVID-19, and an outbreak investigation task force involving Alberta Health Services, the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and Covenant Health has been put into place.
On Friday, Global News spoke with Dr. Robert Black, the hospital’s medical director. The interview has been condensed for clarity and length.
GLOBAL NEWS: What’s the mood like inside the Misericorida Hospital right now?
GN: What level of concern are you hearing from patients or staff inside the hospital?
GN: Things are still evolving but when you look at this outbreak, what types of things could have been done to try and prevent the spread of it? Could there have been more PPE use, more mask use?
RB: I think, to be honest, we’re too early in the determination of that. I think that when we look at what we need to do that it’s critically important that we do a review of learnings. In fact, this is already in place. I think the importance of this is not just for our site, it’s for learnings and opportunities to see what we have done well and opportunities of what perhaps we haven’t done as well.
GN: Early in the outbreak, one patient was moved to a different unit, which caused the virus to spread to a second unit. Why wasn’t the patient isolated before he or she was introduced into the second unit?
GN: How do you calm fears from patients who are in the hospital right now who are concerned or are worried that this outbreak may move into their particular unit?
GN: The public has been told to expect outbreaks as people move around more and as the province reopens more. Obviously it’s a concern when you see it inside a hospital. How do you bring back public confidence when this outbreak is under control?
RB: I think the restoration of the public’s safety and feeling of safety within institutions will take time. It’s something we’re going to have to earn. I think this is where you get into our reviews of the process, our transparency with regards to the findings of the process.
GN: What lessons have been learned the past few weeks and what do you think other hospitals will be able to take away from the experience at the Misericordia?
Watch below: Some recent Global News videos about Edmonton’s Misericordia Hospital and the COVID-19 crisis.
For up-to-date stories on the outbreak at the Misericordia Hospital, click here.