2 more deaths linked to COVID-19 outbreaks at Calgary’s Foothills hospital

WATCH ABOVE: Some recent Global News videos about the COVID-19 outbreaks at Calgary's Foothills hospital.

The total number of deaths linked to COVID-19 outbreaks at Calgary’s Foothills Medical Centre reached 10 on Wednesday, but Alberta Health Services also noted the same day that no new infections associated with the outbreak were reported.

“We offer our sincerest condolences to the families and friends who have lost loved ones,” AHS said. The health authority offered an update saying that two more deaths were linked to the outbreaks on Wednesday.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the total number of cases linked to the outbreaks at Calgary’s largest hospital was 80: 42 patients, 33 health-care workers and five visitors.

“From Sept. 19 to Oct. 7, a cumulative total of 311 health-care workers have been restricted from work at some point during the outbreak investigation due to association with outbreak units or contact tracing,” AHS said.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

“Health-care workers will start returning to the hospital this week after completion of their isolation period.”

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: Staffing shortages leading to burn-out at Foothills hospital amid COVID-19 outbreaks: Unions

The health authority said seven units remain on outbreak status and one is on watch.

“Of the 45 surgeries that have been postponed during the outbreak, 27 have been rescheduled,” AHS said. “The decision to postpone additional surgeries is being made on a daily basis going forward and is dependent on staff availability.

“AHS recognizes that rescheduling elective procedures may be stressful and worrisome. These decisions are carefully considered with patient safety at the centre of each individual circumstance. Emergency surgeries are continuing.”

AHS said “enhanced visitor restrictions are in effect site-wide” and restricted to “end-of-life situations or pre-approved essential visitors.”

“Multiple teams are working daily to determine where the infection may have started, how it was transmitted and who needs to be contacted and tested to limit exposure. This is standard procedure in our contact tracing that we implement with any outbreak,” AHS said.

Read more: Patients diverted to other hospitals as Calgary’s Foothills COVID-19 outbreaks continue to grow

To deal with the outbreaks, the hospital said it has reconfigured rooms to help create more private care spaces and is screening patients and staff twice daily on impacted units.

Story continues below advertisement

“Any patient with symptoms, or who has tested positive for COVID-19, is isolated and treated in designated rooms,” AHS said. “Enhanced cleaning continues on the affected units and outbreak signage is in place.

“Staff have been provided all necessary PPE, including eye protection, for all outbreak and watch units.”

Sponsored content