Alberta reports ninth COVID-19 death, 64 more cases
EDMONTON -- One more person has died as a result of COVID-19 in Alberta and the province reported 64 new cases Tuesday.
The latest victim is another resident at the McKenzie Towne Long Term Care in Calgary, where there are currently more than 30 cases of the deadly virus.
"On behalf of all Albertans, I convey condolences to this individual's family," said Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw. "This is another tragic case of COVID-19 at its worst."
There are now a total of 754 COVID-19 cases province-wide, including the now 120 patients that have recovered. Seventy-seven of those cases involve health care workers, including returning travellers, staff at continuing care homes and participants at the bonspiel in Edmonton where several people contracted coronavirus.
"This is very concerning," said Alberta Health Services' Dr. Mark Joffe.
"I'm just stressed to hear the number of healthcare workers who are infected. I wish them well. We need to look after them. Because after all, if we don't look after them and other health care workers they are the ones who are going to be looking after you, and looking after me."
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Alberta suspects up to 75 cases were spread in the community, and is currently monitoring outbreaks at two other seniors homes: Shepherd's Care Kensington in Edmonton and Carewest Glenmore Park in Calgary.
"These outbreaks remain worrisome," Hinshaw said. "We know seniors and those with chronic health conditions are at greatest risk of severe illness related to COVID-19."
The province will provide more information on cases at continuing care homes on Wednesday with its latest data.
CORRECTIONS ON CASES AT SENIORS HOMES
On Monday, Hinshaw said a man in his 80s had died at Rosedale on the Park, a continuing care facility in Edmonton.
But on Tuesday she clarified that the man died in hospital, and had not visited Rosedale on the Park since March 17.
There are no confirmed COVID-19 cases at Rosedale on the Park, Alberta's top doctor added.
"I have also been in contact with Rosedale and apologized for this error and any concern this may have caused for residents, families or staff," Hinshaw said.
Hinshaw also clarified the number of cases at Shepherd's Care Kensington. Four people have contracted the virus at the facility, not six, as she said Monday.
Alberta had a lower number of confirmed cases on Sunday (40) and Monday (29) due to an issue with testing supplies. On Tuesday, Hinshaw said the province was waiting on a shipment for reagents, a chemical used in the testing process. That shipment arrived Monday.
"So I anticipate that our testing numbers will be able to increase now that the reagent has come in and so we do have sufficient supplies to be able to test to our full capacity again."
As of Tuesday, Alberta had conducted 48,692 COVID-19 tests.
'HELP THE MOST VULNERABLE ALBERTANS'
While there are many restrictions in place to prevent more spread of the virus, Hinshaw is reminding Albertans it is still OK to volunteer and donate blood.
"Organizations like Alberta food banks and Meals on Wheels still need Albertans' support," she said. "I encourage healthy Albertans to give of their time where possible, and with proper attention to physical distancing and hygiene requirements."
Hinshaw added blood donation is down, and encouraged Albertans to help those who are battling other health conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of 4:15 p.m., there were 8,591 cases of COVID-19 and 101 deaths in Canada.