New COVID-19 outbreak at Misericordia Community Hospital results in 10 cases
EDMONTON -- Eight patients and three healthcare workers at the Misericordia Community Hospital have tested positive for COVID-19.
It's the second outbreak of the coronavirus at the west Edmonton hospital after 58 people, 11 of whom died, contracted the disease there in the summer.
Twenty-nine workers are in self-isolation as a result of the new outbreak.
“As you’ll appreciate, as the investigation, contact tracing goes on those numbers will fluctuate,” said Dr. David Zygun, AHS Edmonton Zone medical director.
The outbreak has affected two units on the seventh floor.
Officials said all patients and staff who have been on those units have been tested whether they’re showing symptoms or not.
“With every outbreak there’s an incubation period and we have to be vigilant. That’s why we do the prevalence screening on patients and on staff. There may be cases identified in a delayed fashion that may come up still,” said Dr. Zygun.
He expects the incubation period to last four weeks.
Enhanced screening and cleaning measures have been put in place.
“We believe that with the efforts that we’ve talked about that we will be able to contain this in the Mis. But we are going to continue to make it as safe as we can,” said Dr. Owen Heisler, Chief Medical Officer of Health with Covenant Health.
The emergency department is still open and although visitation to the two affected units has been restricted, officials said there is no impact to other services at the hospital.
A report was completed after the first outbreak at the facility. It identified several areas where improvements could be made, information that was shared with other facilities across the province.
“I think what we learned from the Misericordia was that there were features that were common across the system with respect to identification and PPE usage and bed movements in fact it was very important that we shared those learnings across,” Dr. Zygun said.
They’ve also created a PPE coach to help make sure staff are using and taking off the equipment properly.