Second death connected to COVID-19 outbreaks at Calgary hospital, 4 more test positive
CALGARY -- An additional death is being reported and four more people — two patients and two staff members — have tested positive for COVID-19 connected to outbreaks at Foothills Medical Centre announced earlier this week.
A total of 88 staff members are now in isolation — an addition of 31 from Monday — and increased cleaning protocols are in place.
Staff is now working to pinpoint how the novel coronavirus was introduced into the hospital.
On Monday, health officials declared outbreaks in the cardiac care unit and the general medicine unit at Foothills hospital.
There are now 16 patients and six staff members who have tested positive. Two deaths are being connected to the outbreaks.
The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) represents 3,488 workers at Foothills hospital, made up of LPNs, health-care aides, environmental services workers, unit clerks, and other support staff.
AUPE vice-president Bobby-Joe Borodey knows it’s a challenging time for them.
“If we can trace things back then hopefully we can learn to do better in the future,” said Borodey.
“We can also identify if there are other people that are at risk that we need to notify possibly quarantine, take appropriate measures.”
Borodey added staff are working in a "climate of anxiety.
“You know, we felt like maybe we were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in a sense, maybe we were kind of getting a handle on things, and then, you know, no,” said Borodey.
“It’s another outbreak, we’re seeing a surge in cases, so yes, our members continue to work every day in a climate of anxiety.”
Jordyn Pennylegion went to Foothills on Tuesday morning to have his broken collarbone X-rayed. He says it looks like business as usual inside the hospital, but people are aware of the outbreak.
“You can’t really shut down a hospital like this that’s helping so many people because you have COVID cases like that,” said Pennylegion.
“But just trusting the fellow workers and trusting that they do their job kind of helps keep the fear away.”
During Tuesday's update by the province, two other deaths were announced, along with 150 new cases in Alberta. The death at Foothills was not part of the provincial update.
Active infections increased to 1,565 across Alberta. Most remain in the Edmonton zone with 820, while the Calgary zone has 485.