EDMONTON -- Alberta Health Services has clarified that it has not taken over an Edmonton continuing care facility, but is working with the centre linked to 61 active COVID-19 cases as well as 12 deaths.

On Monday, Edmonton's Good Samaritan Southgate Care Centre reported another three deaths at the facility, bringing the total to 12.

As of Monday afternoon, there were 47 active patient infections and 14 active employee cases at the centre. Eight employees had recovered from the disease.

“There was an on-site inspection to determine… if any additional supports could be needed,” Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said in a public update Monday afternoon, calling the outbreak a serious situation.

Hinshaw reported that AHS had assumed control of the facility, but Alberta Health officials later said she wasn't updated on the latest information before speaking.

"While a formal order to take over operation was considered, it was not ultimately necessary. Dr. Hinshaw was not informed of this prior to the media availability," said Alberta Health spokesman Tom MacMillan.

"To ensure the ongoing health and safety of residents at the facility, Alberta Health has asked Alberta Health Services to work with Good Samaritan to implement a number of measures, including providing oversight and leadership at the facility and working with the operator to ensure that all processes and procedures are up to standard."

Hinshaw said the outbreak at the Good Samaritan Southgate Care Centre was an example of how rapidly the virus can spread, and how severe it can be for those who are most vulnerable to it.

“We all must take extra precautions anytime we are going to be in contact with anyone who lives in a continuing care facility, who is over the age of 65 or who has underlying medical conditions.

“As we see in the case numbers, the curve is no longer flat in Alberta, we all need to assess our own lives for where we are at risk of spreading or contracting the virus. All of us can make changes to our daily routines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The first cases of COVID-19 at the facility were found in early June.

An additional death was reported on Monday at the Misericordia Community Hospital, where an outbreak has infected 13 patients who remain in hospital and 24 employees. According to Covenant health, no new cases have been identified since July 17. In total, 58 cases were connected to the location, including 10 deaths.

That emergency department and intake remains closed.

On Monday, the province had 1,430 active cases, with 88 people sick in hospital and 17 in intensive care.


An earlier version of this article stated that Alberta Health Services assumed control of the Good Samaritan Southgate Care Centre. AHS has since confirmed this is not correct. Health officials are working with the hospital to implement a number of measures.