by Stephen Dafoe
In her daily update, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said AHS was investigating two small hospital outbreaks at the Sturgeon General Hospital and Royal Alex, where Hinshaw said the cases seem to be linked within the facility. Neither investigation is interrelated; however, one case at Edmonton General is linked to Sturgeon General via a patient transfer.
In response to a question sent to AHS Monday afternoon, Morinville News confirmed Tuesday morning that the small outbreak at Sturgeon General Hospital was confined to the one patient, transferred to Edmonton General on the weekend.
“With regards to the Sturgeon outbreak, there is just one patient who has tested positive for COVID-19. That patient was transferred from the Sturgeon to the Edmonton General Hospital’s restorative/sub-acute unit on April 21. So, they are no longer at the Sturgeon,” said Kerry Williamson, Executive Director, Issues Management Communications with Alberta Health Services.
Williamson said the reason that the single case at Sturgeon was considered an outbreak is that the case is under investigation as a possible hospital-acquired case.
“We have had no related cases to date. Following contact tracing there have been no additional patient infections identified,” Williamson said. “There has been a robust response from Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) and Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) with enhanced screening/surveillance for all health care workers, patients and their support person.”
Williamson went on to say that under the guidelines for a COVID-19 outbreak, restrictions are in place in addition to general COVID-19 recommendations. This includes additional environmental cleaning and restrictions on transfers and new admissions.
“There is no increased risk to patients coming to our hospitals,” Williamson said. “Our units continue to be a safe and appropriate place to receive care.”
In her daily briefing Monday, Hinshaw said a quick response to the Sturgeon and Royal Alex cases means that spread of the virus is being prevented.
“Patients and staff are being protected,” Hinshaw said Monday. “It is important to be transparent about these situations so Albertans know we are sharing information as soon as we have it.”