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Alberta bans visitors from long-term care facilities under public health order
Published Tuesday, April 7, 2020 12:30PM MDT Last Updated Tuesday, April 7, 2020 12:32PM MDT
Two people visit their loved one through a window at a long-term care facility in Calgary. The province announced Tuesday it is banning visitors from care facilities to protect seniors and vulnerable Albertans from the COVID-19 pandemic. (File)
CALGARY -- In an effort to further protect seniors and vulnerable Albertans in care from the COVID-19 outbreak, the province announced Tuesday it is banning all visitors from care facilities.
The ban includes long-term care centres, licensed group homes and other facilities across the province, as well as residential addiction treatment operators.
Despite the ban, the amended public health order does make an exception for visitors in instances where the person in care is dying, or if the visitor is essential in delivering care that can't be handled by staff.
Under these circumstances, only one visitor will be allowed at a time and they must wear a face mask and undergo health screening before entering the building. Visitors are not allowed to interact with any other resident while there.
In Alberta, there have been 112 positive cases of COVID-19 in care facilities and 13 deaths at care homes. Eleven of those deaths were residents of the McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre in southeast Calgary where as of Sunday, the outbreak had to 52 residents and 39 staff members testing positive for the virus.
"I know this will have a profound impact on the lives of those residents and their families; this is not a step that we take lightly. I’m asking all Albertans to reach out and support their loved ones through the phone, video and any other means possible," said Dr. Deena Hinshaw in a release Tuesday.