Ponoka hospital

Ponoka Hospital outbreak may be lifted next week

Currently 14 positive cases

There are now 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 linked to the outbreak at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre.

“We continue to closely monitor the situation and carry out prevalence testing of both patients and staff,” read a statement provided from Alberta Health Services (AHS).

“If there are no further positive patient cases, we anticipate being able to lift the outbreak next week.”

AHS says it has been necessary to implement a number of temporary measures at the site as they worked to respond to a “very fluid situation.”

Those measures included temporarily pausing new acute care admissions. Acute care admissions of COVID-19 positive patients resumed last week.

READ MORE: Ponoka County COVID-19 update

AHS stated the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre has not been designated as a COVID-19 only facility.

“Between the fluctuating number of COVID-19 positive inpatients who require acute care, coupled with staffing challenges and cramped infrastructure, we have been unable to cohort all COVID-19 patients to a single unit.

“When we are unable to cohort staff and/or patients, preventing the spread of illness becomes additionally challenging. By diverting non-COVID-19 patients to alternative sites, we can protect them from acquiring the virus in hospital.”

There is not an assisted self-isolation unit at the hospital. Once patients are stable and well enough to be discharged, if they can safely and appropriately self-isolate at home, AHS works to support them in doing so.

If a patient cannot safely and appropriately self-isolate at home upon discharge, there are alternative spaces available within the Central Zone to support them in non-hospital settings.

The outbreak was declared on Dec. 9.

By Dec. 11, there were three confirmed cases linked to the outbreak, all of which were in patients.

That number reached eight cases (six patients and two healthcare workers) by Dec. 17.

The next day that number dropped to just four (two patients and two healthcare workers).

Transmissions continued to occur, however, as there were nine staff and five patients positive for COVID-19 as of Dec. 29.


Vaccinations are underway for eligible staff in the Emergency Department, as well as long-term care and Home Care staff.

Vaccinations for continuing care residents, including those in long-term care at the hospital, is also underway in the community.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


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

Just Posted

(File photo)
Town of Ponoka makes changes to monthly tax payment plan

Ponoka town council has approved changes to the town’s monthly tax payment… Continue reading

Katherine Swampy
Maskwacis chiefs are opposed to RAPID Response

Alberta Treaty 6 First Nations say they were not properly consulted

A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 23, 2020. The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

Ron Rauch and his wife Audrey are photographed at their home in Victoria, Friday, March 5, 2021. Their daughter Lisa Rauch died on Christmas Day 2019 when a tactical officer with the Victoria Police Department shot her in the back of the head with plastic bullets after barricading herself in a room that was on fire. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. families push for changes as special committee examines provincial Police Act

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth acknowledged the need to update the legislation last year

Major-General Dany Fortin, left, looks on as Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. The Public Health Agency of Canada has set aside up to $5 billion to pay for COVID-19 vaccines. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada negotiating contracts to secure COVID-19 booster shots for next year: Anand

Most of Canada’s current vaccine suppliers are already testing new versions against variants

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among other encouraged ventilation measures

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney updates media on measures taken to help with COVID-19, in Edmonton on Friday, March 20, 2020. Alberta is set to join three other provinces in exploring the feasibility of small modular reactors as a clean energy option. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Four provinces to sign memorandum of understanding to explore small nuclear reactors

Alberta government said in August that it would enter into the agreement to help diversify its energy sector

Sharis Carr, a nurse at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss., holds a box containing doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, April 7, 2021. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
EXPLAINER: What’s known about COVID vaccines and rare clots

These are not typical blood clots – they’re weird in two ways

Most Read