Five more Covid-19 deaths at Edmonton care home, 113 new cases in province

Five more Covid-19 deaths at Edmonton care home, 113 new cases in province

Five more Covid-19 deaths at Edmonton care home, 113 new cases in province

EDMONTON — Five more people have died from COVID-19 at the Good Samaritan Southgate Care Centre in Edmonton, bringing the total of deaths in that outbreak to 21.

“This is a stark example of the devastation this virus can cause,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday as the province reported 113 new coronavirus cases.

“We are taking this outbreak extremely seriously.”

But Hinshaw said the province would only take over operations of the long-term care home if the facility was unable to comply with mandatory public health orders.

“This has not been the case here.”

Hinshaw said Alberta Health Services has been monitoring staffing levels and that she has been assured mandatory outbreak protocols are in place. That includes twice-daily screening, widespread testing and enhanced cleaning.

Alberta has 1,408 active COVID-19 cases. Of those, 91 are in hospital and 18 are in intensive care. A total of 195 people have died.

Earlier Thursday, Calgary’s public school board outlined how it will offer online learning to families who are uncomfortable sending their children back to in-person classes in September.

Chief superintendent Christopher Usih wrote in a letter to parents that the “hub online learning approach” would be offered to students in Grades 1 through 12 only for the 2020-21 school year and would be full-time.

He said it’s a combination of online instruction and independent work and would be more stringent than the emergency-at-home learning that took place during the spring of 2020.

“It will not offer the same opportunities or supports as in-person learning,” he wrote.

“To be successful, this type of learning requires committed parent involvement and assistance.”

The board also recommends that staff and students wear masks in school and on buses, but is only making them mandatory for children who get sick while at school. In that case, a disposal mask will be provided until children can be picked up.

The Alberta Teachers’ Association has raised concern about the absence of a cap on class sizes that would ensure enough physical distancing in schools. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and others have also panned the back-to-school plan for making masks optional.

Hinshaw suggested that the plan may be tweaked in the weeks ahead as officials glean more evidence from other jurisdictions where schools have reopened.

She also detailed the results of serology tests conducted during the spring.

The tests aren’t meant to reveal whether individuals are sick or contagious, and the presence of COVID-19 antibodies does not guarantee immunity.

But Hinshaw said they provided a rough snapshot of how prevalent the virus was in the wider population and how effective testing was at that time.

“Along with the data on case numbers and hospitalizations, this indicates that Alberta’s early efforts to flatten the curve and limit the spread of COVID-19 were successful,” she said.

Anonymous blood samples from nearly 9,400 people were collected during the first week of June and less than one per cent had COVID-19 antibodies.

The findings, when applied to the broader population, suggest the province’s swab testing as of mid-May picked up 17 per cent of total infections.

“I know this number may sound low, but it’s actually very good,” she said, noting a similar British Columbia study in May found testing picked up 12.5 per cent of actual cases and other jurisdictions were much lower.

Asymptomatic COVID-19 swab tests are being expanded to any pharmacy that wants to participate and is able to meet safety requirements.

A limited number of pharmacies did more than 10,000 tests under a pilot program launched in June.

— By Lauren Krugel in Calgary

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 30, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta premier Jason Kenney declared a public health state of emergency Tuesday and sweeping new measures as COVID-19 cases in the province continue to rise. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Kenney declares state of public health emergency as COVID-19 cases rise

High schools shift to online learning, businesses face new restrictions

Children and their families enjoy the light display at Centennial Park in 2019. (File photo)
Town anounces expanded light display and new Christmas Light Tour

The Town of Ponoka will flip the switch on an expanded Christmas… Continue reading

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, announced the province surpasses one million COVID-19 tests Friday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up by 100 in last 24 hours

Most central Alberta communities under province’s enhanced measures list

file photo
Wetaskiwin, Maskwacis RCMP search warrant seize drugs; numerous charges laid

39-year-old Wetaskiwin man, Wayne Wiebe charged with 21 criminal code offences.

.
Alberta confirmed more than 1,500 COVID-19 cases Sunday

Central zone active cases slightly up

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
VIDEO: How do the leading COVID vaccines differ? And what does that mean for Canada?

All three of the drug companies are incorporating novel techniques in developing their vaccines

Ilaria Rubino is shown in this undated handout image at University of Alberta. Alberta researcher Rubino has developed technology allowing mostly salt to kill pathogens in COVID-19 droplets as they land on a mask. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-University of Alberta
Alberta researcher gets award for COVID-19 mask innovation

The salt-coated mask is expected to be available commercially next year after regulatory approval.

Russ and Luanne Carl are sharing about their experiences of fighting COVID-19 this past summer. (Photo submitted)
Stettler couple opens up about COVID-19 battle

Luanne and Russ Carl urge others to bolster personal safety measures amidst ongoing pandemic

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Claudio Mastronardi, Toronto branch manager at Carmichael Engineering, is photographed at the company’s offices in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. As indoor air quality becomes a major concern in places of business, HVAC companies are struggling to keep up with demand for high quality filtration systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Business is booming for HVAC companies as commercial buildings see pandemic upgrades

‘The demand right now is very high. People are putting their health and safety ahead of cost’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Most Read