50 patients and staff now positive for COVID-19, as Foothills hospital outbreaks grow to 5 units

A total of 50 patients and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 at Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary.

Alberta Health Services confirmed on Sunday that five additional patients, for a total of 25 patient cases, and seven additional health-care workers, for a total of 25 staff cases, have tested positive.

Four patients have died.

As of Sept. 25, 136 health-care workers were self-isolating. AHS said that number will be updated twice weekly.

The first case was detected at one of the cardiac units in the hospital on Sept. 18, and the first case in the hospital’s general unit was found the next day. Cases were also identified in a second cardiac unit.

Now, two additional units are part of the outbreaks. Cases at the transitional medical unit are linked to the current outbreak, but cases at a short stay unit are not believed to be connected.

AHS said all patients and health-care workers who may have been affected have been identified and testing is underway.

“Multiple teams are working daily to determine where the infection may have started, how it was transmitted and who needs to be contacted and tested to limit exposure. This is standard procedure in our contact tracing that we implement with any outbreak,” AHS said in an emailed statement. 

The COVID-19 outbreaks at Foothills hospital in Calgary are raising concerns about how hospitals around the province will be able to cope as cases mount.

Alberta Health Services has said it is using overtime and reassignment of staff to cover shifts at Foothills.

In Alberta, there were 1,497 active COVID-19 cases as of Friday, 518 of which were in Calgary.

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