New restrictions for care workers after 4 more deaths at McKenzie Towne
CALGARY -- Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced new restrictions for care home workers Friday, following a COVID-19 update announcing seven additional deaths over the past 24 hours, including four at the McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre in southeast Calgary.
That brought the total number of COVID-19-related deaths at the southeast Calgary care facility to 17.
"I extend my deep condolences," Hinshaw said. "I know that many people are concerned of the health of residents at continuing care facilities and I am as well."
Hinshaw said workers would be required to wear masks at all times when providing direct patient care, or else working in patient-care areas within two metres of other people.
Also, workers will now be restricted to working at a single site, in order to prevent community spread.
"These requirements are currently in effect at outbreak locations," Hinshaw said, "but will now be required in all long-term care and supportive living sites across the province."
The single-site restrictions were endorsed by NDP leader Rachel Notley, who has been publically calling for the implementation of the measure.
"I'm very pleased to see that staff will now only be able to work in one site," she said, in a release. "We have to make sure that both staff and patients are being protected from this deadly virus, which is why I've been calling on the government to implement this restriction for some time now."
She was critical of a lack of clarity surrounding the mask policy, which was why she also welcomed Friday's restrictions.
"Staff put themselves in harm's way to protect us," she said. "I am pleased they now have clear direction on how to protect themselves while they do this vital work."
Hinshaw also announced that 713 of 1500 overall confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alberta have recovered, an increase of 121 over Thursday.