COVID-19 Update: Estimated 900 cases reported Saturday | Families say communication lacking from outbreak-stricken AgeCare seniors residence

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‘A violation of trust’: Alberta doctors decry government vacations abroad

Rockyview General Hospital in southwest Calgary on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. Photo by Brendan Miller/Postmedia

The revelation that at least five Alberta MLAs travelled abroad over the holidays amid strict COVID-19 restrictions has left some doctors in the province feeling frustrated.

The vacation destinations for the elected officials dot North America. Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard and Calgary-Klein MLA Jeremy Nixon both visited Hawaii. Arizona was the sunny locale visited by Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan, while Calgary-Peigan MLA Tanya Fir jetted to Las Vegas and backbencher Pat Rehn took a trip to Mexico.

The news was upsetting for Dr. Fiona Mattatall, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Calgary’s Rockyview General Hospital.

“It made me really angry and frustrated, and as I sorted through where that’s coming from, I realized it’s essentially coming from what I see my patients going through,” Mattatall said, estimating she sees about 50 patients each week.

“They’ve been changing a lot in their lives to keep themselves and their unborn child safe, and (I’ve been) hearing the sacrifices that people are making for their families and for their neighbours. I think it’s been hard coming to terms with knowing as Albertans we’re being given restrictions and then the people who are giving them out are not abiding by them.”

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Poor communication dismaying family members of AgeCare residents as COVID-19 outbreaks rage

AgeCare Skypointe nursing home was photographed on Saturday, December 26, 2020. Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia
AgeCare Skypointe nursing home was photographed on Dec. 26, 2020. Photo by Azin Ghaffari /Postmedia

The holidays have been difficult for many Calgarians, as public-health orders meant to curb the COVID-19 pandemic restrict gatherings outside one’s household.

But for those with family members living in continuing-care facilities devastated by outbreaks of the novel coronavirus, the Christmas season has been a nightmare.

Among the most severe active outbreaks in long-term care are at facilities operated by AgeCare, a Calgary-based company with 10 locations in Alberta.

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Alberta reports ‘estimated’ 900 cases on Saturday

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