Calgary care centre sees 8 new COVID-19 cases; too early to say if outbreak contained

Health officials are expecting more COVID-19 tests could come back positive at the McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre as the number of cases there jumped to 14 as of Thursday.

The eight additional cases were announced as part of Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw’s daily update.

READ MORE: With 67 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, Alberta total reaches 486

A woman in her 80s who was a resident of the facility died earlier this week after testing positive for the virus, marking Alberta’s second death linked to the illness.

At the time, officials said three others — a staff member and two residents — had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and 11 others were showing symptoms.

Eight residents tested positive Wednesday, Hinshaw said, and they’re all self-isolating while being treated.

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Hinshaw said Thursday that it’s too early to say whether that outbreak is contained.

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“We are still in relatively early days.

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“And, with the long incubation period of the virus, I think it will take some time before we are able to tell if all of the people who were exposed at the beginning of this outbreak have passed through that incubation period,” she said.

“What’s important is that every single one of the residents there — both those who have symptoms, those who don’t have symptoms — that they’re all getting the support and care that they need and that anyone who does have symptoms is kept away from others.

READ MORE: Alberta ramping up enforcement of public health orders; number of confirmed COVID-19 cases climbs to 419

“All appropriate precautions in terms of cleaning and, again, the support for staff and residents, that’s all taking place right now.

“Because of that long incubation period, I expect we will see more cases in the days to come.”

A message of kindness toward the residents of the McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre is seen hear the facility.
A message of kindness toward the residents of the McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre is seen hear the facility. Mike Hills/Global News

In her update on Tuesday, Hinshaw said it appeared the death was due to community transmission of the virus.

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Dr. Hinshaw explains why Alberta is more focused on community transmissions of COVID-19

Dr. Hinshaw explains why Alberta is more focused on community transmissions of COVID-19

Alberta had 486 cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday, with officials estimating 34 of those were the result of community transmission.

Global News has reached out to the McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre for comment. This story will be update when we receive a response.

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