3 patient deaths linked to COVID outbreak at Rockyview hospital

Three patient deaths are linked to a COVID-19 outbreak at Rockyview General Hospital in Calgary.

There are currently four units at the hospital experiencing outbreaks, and at least 28 people have tested positive (21 patients and seven health-care workers). 

One patient in their 40s on a general medicine unit, who was unvaccinated and had underlying health issues, has died, as well as two patients in their 70s on the palliative unit. One of those patients was fully vaccinated, while the other was not. 

Dr. Peter Jamieson, interim medical director in Calgary, said the vast majority of inpatients with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

He said staff are working hard to screen visitors and patients for COVID-19 and that the best preventative medicine continues to be vaccination. 

“We’re having a significant uptake in COVID activity in the community, and that activity inevitably impacts the patients who come in for care,” he said.

There are outbreaks at 16 acute care facilities in the province, including outbreaks at the cardiology, transition, stroke, and neurology units at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary. 

Two patients have also died in connection with an outbreak at the Beaverlodge Municipal Hospital in northern Alberta.

Dr. Stephanie Smith, director of infection prevention and control at the University of Alberta hospital, says it can be challenging to prevent outbreaks when such a large influx of people are entering the health-care system. 

“A young person comes in because of a car accident or a trauma or something like that and doesn’t really have symptoms of COVID, but certainly can end up testing positive. And, so, those are some of the challenges,” she said. ” And, you know, getting COVID on top of that other problem can have devastating consequences.”

On Tuesday there were 822 people being treated in hospital for COVID-19 in Alberta, 212 of whom were in intensive care beds.

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