Alberta records 277 new cases of COVID-19, 1 additional death Friday

File: Coronavirus test. Getty Images / File Photo

Alberta recorded 277 new cases of COVID-19 Friday and one additional death related to the disease.

The person who died was a woman in her 80s, linked to the outbreak at Shepherd’s Care Millwoods Long Term Care Centre in south Edmonton, according to Alberta Health.

There were 80 cases of COVID-19 linked to the outbreak at the long-term care centre, according to an update Friday afternoon from Shepherd’s Care. Of the cases, 53 were in residents and 27 were in staff members.

Seven of the 53 residents with COVID-19 have died, the Shepherd’s Care Foundation reported Friday. That’s an increase of two deaths since Thursday. The second death wasn’t reported by Alberta Health on Friday, but the health ministry has previously said there is often a delay between the time the death happens and when it’s reported by Alberta Health.

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Read more: Mill Woods care centre COVID-19 outbreak swells to 68 cases

As of Friday afternoon, there were 2,225 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, 1,329 of which were in the Edmonton zone. Of the 277 new cases reported Friday, 157 — or nearly 57 per cent — were in the Edmonton zone.

On Thursday, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw came out with new voluntary public health restrictions for people living in the Edmonton zone in hopes of reducing transmission of the coronavirus.

Read more: Alberta records highest daily COVID-19 case count; Edmonton sees new voluntary restrictions

The recommendations include limiting indoor family and private social gatherings to no more than 15 people, wearing masks in all indoor work settings, except for when a person is alone in a workspace such as a cubicle or an office, or if there is a barrier in place and limit their cohorts to no more than three separate cohorts: the core household, a school cohort and no more than one social, sport or other group cohort.

Click to play video 'Edmonton faces new voluntary restrictions as COVID-19 cases continue to rise' Edmonton faces new voluntary restrictions as COVID-19 cases continue to rise
Edmonton faces new voluntary restrictions as COVID-19 cases continue to rise – Oct 8, 2020

Misericordia Community Hospital outbreaks

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Another outbreak of COVID-19 was reported at Edmonton’s Misericordia Community Hospital on Friday. Covenant Health, which operates the hospital, said it is now investigating three outbreaks at the hospital in west Edmonton.

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Nine patients and five staff had tested positive for COVID-19 at the hospital as of Friday. That’s an increase from eight patients and three health-care workers linked to two outbreaks reported Thursday.

READ MORE: COVID-19 outbreaks declared on 2 units at Edmonton’s Misericordia Community Hospital

As of Friday, 86 Albertans were in the hospital with COVID-19, 11 of whom were being treated in intensive care.

While one additional death was reported Friday, the provincial death toll from COVID-19 dropped by two to 282. Alberta Health said that was because two deaths previously reported as COVID-19-related have been determined post-mortem not to be COVID-related.

3 more patient cases at Foothills Medical Centre

Three more patients have tested positive for COVID-19, linked to seven outbreaks of the illness at the Foothills Medical Centre, according to Alberta Health Services.

All three were on the cardiac unit, AHS said Friday. A total of 45 patients have contracted the virus since the outbreak was declared.

One additional patient had died as of Friday, AHS said, bringing the total to 11.

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

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There are no new health-care worker cases as of Friday, and AHS said 75 per cent of the 313 staff who were mandated to quarantine are able to return to the job, as long as they aren’t experiencing symptoms of the virus, and didn’t test positive. A total of 36 AHS staff contracted COVID-19 as a result of the outbreaks.

Of the 45 total surgeries that had to be cancelled due to the staffing shortages caused by isolating staff, 80 per cent have been rescheduled.

Officials still have not determined how the virus got into the hospital, or how it moved throughout the facility. All patients and health-care workers who may have been exposed have been identified, AHS said.

AHS said in addition to various health safety measures like limiting visitation and increasing symptom screening on all outbreak units, rooms have been configured to allow blocking of beds, to create more private areas for patients to receive care.