7 employees at Fairmont Hotel Macdonald in Edmonton test positive for COVID-19

Click to play video 'COVID-19 outbreak linked to Fairmont Hotel Macdonald in Edmonton' COVID-19 outbreak linked to Fairmont Hotel Macdonald in Edmonton
WATCH: Dr. Deena Hinshaw announces a COVID-19 outbreak at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald in Edmonton.

Seven Fairmont Hotel Macdonald employees tested positive for COVID-19, the hotel confirmed on Tuesday.

Those seven people, along with anyone they were in close contact with, are self isolating for 14 days, the hotel said in a news release.

“All impacted employees have been notified and are being supported; none of the colleagues who tested positive have been on property for the past seven days,” the news release said.

“Alberta Health Services has confirmed that no hotel guests or visitors have been impacted.

“Health officials advise that risk of transmission is low for those who have not been in close contact with these individuals.”

The hotel remains open at this time.

Read more: Dr. Deena Hinshaw to update Alberta’s long weekend COVID-19 numbers Tuesday

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Alberta Health confirmed the information in the news release.

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Alberta COVID-19 cases rise to May levels; Hinshaw says ‘absolutely critical’ to stay home if sick

In her news conference Tuesday afternoon, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said officials are still investigating this outbreak.

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“It’s not clear what that source was — whether it was an on-site common source or if there’s possibility of an outside, off-site source,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said. “That’s currently part of the investigation.”

Hotel Macdonald said it’s working closely with AHS to mitigate risks and ensure the hotel is safe. Measures include:

  • a deep clean of the entire hotel
  • extensive contact tracing
  • 14-day self-quarantine for positive cases and close contacts

“The hotel continues to adhere to strict health and safety protocols, in accordance with local and national health guidelines,” Hotel Macdonald said in the news release.

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“This includes rigorous cleaning and disinfection measures, including the use of EPA-registered chemicals proven effective in preventing the transmission of COVID-19; a 48-hour hold on guest rooms following each stay; mandatory screening with temperature checks for everyone entering the property; masks required throughout indoor and outdoor public spaces; physical distancing; staggered start times for employees; and changes to employee dining.”

The seven cases were not identified at the same time, hotel spokesperson Danielle Lundy said.

The hotel added the situation is evolving and it will continue working with AHS to provide updates.

Read more: Coronavirus: Where Alberta’s COVID-19 outbreaks are

Alberta Health’s threshold for an outbreak is evidence of transmission of five or more COVID-19 cases with a common exposure, such as the same gathering or workplace.

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Once an outbreak is declared, Alberta Health says “all positive cases are isolated, aggressive contact tracing is underway, and health officials investigate possible sources of transmission and any epidemiological links. Testing is offered to all symptomatic and asymptomatic staff in an outbreak setting.”

Hotel Macdonald was added to the province’s COVID-19 outbreak list later Tuesday.

— More to come…