2 deaths, 24 cases in Mill Woods care centre COVID-19 outbreak

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Two people have died related to a COVID-19 outbreak at the Millwoods Shepherd’s Care Centre in south Edmonton, according to officials.

The outbreak, which was added to the provincial list on Friday, includes 19 residents and five staff members. All the residents who have tested positive are on the third floor of the facility, according to Shepherd’s Care Foundation.

On Friday, when the foundation first posted an update on its website related to the outbreak, there were six positive cases — four in staff members, and two in residents who had recently passed away.

The two people who died were a man in his 80s and a man in his 90s, according to Alberta Health.

By Sunday, testing showed the outbreak had grown to a total of 24 people, the care foundation said.

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Alberta Health Services said of the 24 cases identified as of Monday, 19 were in residents (17 active cases and two who have died) and five were in staff members (four active and one recovered).

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The centre said it had first became aware of a COVID-19 case in the facility over two weeks ago on Sept. 12, in a staff member on the third floor. The staff member had not worked while symptomatic, according to officials.

On Sept. 22, another asymptomatic staff member at the centre tested positive, at which time the outbreak was declared, according to AHS.

“We do not believe these two cases were linked and community transmission is the most likely source of infection,” Shepherd’s Care Foundation said on Saturday.

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

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Visits are temporarily suspended to the centre and all residents are under precautionary isolation.

The foundation is working with AHS to contain the outbreak and work to contact trace.

Staff who have been identified as being in potential contact with cases are on leave and isolating.

AHS said the centre has implemented all outbreak protocol.

“AHS staff are onsite and meeting virtually to provide direction, consultation and support with outbreak and issue management, resident and staff testing, care and service delivery,” a statement from AHS read. “This includes a quality monitoring visit, led by the Provincial AHS Internal Audit team, which is standard practice for all sites on outbreak.

“AHS will work with Shepherd’s Care to implement any recommendations that stem from the quality monitoring visit.”

Of the staff, four were employees of Shepherd’s Care and one was a placement student.

“Testing is being offered to all residents and staff and I’ve been assured that all necessary steps are being taken to limit future spread,” Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Monday afternoon.

Read more: Good Samaritan Southgate now Alberta’s deadliest long-term care outbreak

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The Millwoods Shepherd’s Care Centre is located near the Grey Nuns Community Hospital on 66 Street and 28 Avenue in south Edmonton.

With files from Caley Ramsay, Global News.