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Hinshaw calls COVID-19 outbreak at Foothills Hospital concerning, calls for investigation

Last Updated Sep 22, 2020 at 6:11 am MDT

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health says the COVID-19 outbreak at Foothills Hospital in Calgary is concerning and is calling for an investigation.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw has confirmed 358 new cases of COVID-19 over the last 72 hours and one additional death, a woman in her 70s, linked to the Foothills outbreak.

A total of 14 patients and four staff members have tested positive at the health facility.

“We take any outbreak in an acute care facility very seriously,” said Dr. Hinshaw.

However, despite the slight increase in the number of hospital cases, Dr. Hinshaw says Alberta is still doing well.

“It is good news that our hospitalization numbers have been generally declining or stable since peaking at 93 hospitalizations on July 22.”

There are now 51 Albertans in hospital and nine in ICU. Although more than 15,000 Albertans have recovered from the virus, there are still 1,459 active cases, an increase of 35.

Hinshaw adds a new outbreak has been discovered at the men’s residence at St. Joseph’s College at the University of Alberta.

Five cases have been identified, and AHS is contract tracing and handling it.

When it comes to Alberta schools, five school alerts have ended and students and staff who were isolating are back in class.

There are 81 active alerts within schools where one or more students attended while infectious.

A total of 126 cases are linked to those schools.

Hinshaw confirms that six new outbreaks have been identified in schools.

“Alberta Health Services is working closely with these schools to investigate close contacts.”

There are two schools where transmission has likely occurred: Vimy Ridge School in Edmonton and École Springfield School in Peace River.

Hinshaw says only three per cent of the schools in the province have had any exposure at all, and of those, only 3 per cent have seen possible transmission of the virus.

“Overall, only just over one school in the thousand has had a transmission episode in the last three weeks.”

She says so far it has been a positive start to the school year.