Four patients on three separate units at the Peter Lougheed Centre in Calgary have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, linked to three outbreaks at the hospital.
According to Alberta Health Services, the outbreaks are on hematology, cardiology and transition units.
The first outbreak, on a hematology unit, was declared on Oct 16. There is one patient case linked to that outbreak and the only death associated with the hospital outbreaks, as of Monday, Nov. 2.
Two patients are confirmed to have COVID-19 linked to an outbreak declared on Oct. 27 on the cardiology unit.
The outbreak on the transition unit was also declared on Oct. 27, and as of Monday, one patient had tested positive for COVID-19.
AHS didn’t provide any further information about the outbreaks, precautions, or increased health and outbreak prevention measures underway at the hospital.
Foothills hospital outbreaks slowing down
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As of Oct. 30 — the last time data was updated on the outbreaks — there were no new cases linked to several outbreaks at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, in patients, hospital staff or visitors.
The death toll from the outbreak was also unchanged, and remained at 12.
A total of 95 people were confirmed to have COVID-19 in relation to those outbreaks; 47 patients, 43 staff and five visitors.
In addition to the 43 staff who contracted the virus, 366 employees had to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms due to potential exposure.
Health officials still had not determined the cause of the outbreaks as of Oct. 30.
Alberta Health will not be providing a COVID-19 situation update on Monday, Nov. 2, including new case numbers and hospitalizations, due to website upgrades. Numbers from the weekend and Monday will be shared on Tuesday, along with an update with chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
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Dr. Joe Vipond is an ER doctor in Calgary and said his concern about outbreaks in hospitals across the province is growing .
“We don’t know why this transmission is occurring. There’s been a real focus from a lot of people asking ‘How did it get into the hospital?’ but I think the real question is how it is getting around,” Dr. Vipond said.
The physician wondered why there is a delay from health officials regarding the investigation findings from other outbreaks.
“There was a report put out for the Misericordia in July, another one for Foothills Hospital, and nobody has seen those other than AHS leadership and these need to be released as we can analyze that data and figure out where the weaknesses are,” Dr. Vipond said.
The United Nurses of Alberta representative for Peter Lougheed Centre said the staff is concerned about the relaxation in the visitor policy. Diane Lantz said there are no restrictions now and there’s a worry about mask policies for patients.
“The staff are adhering to masking, but if you’re in close contact providing direct care you wear the masks but the patient doesn’t have to and that’s causing angst for nurses because you are in close contact with that person,” Lantz said.
In an email Tuesday morning, AHS said there were visitor restrictions in place on the PLC’s outbreak units, meaning visitation is only available for people considered essential supports, or in end-of-life situations.
“We encourage families to continue to meet virtually with their loved ones,” AHS said.
— with files from Jill Croteau