“I don’t make exemptions lightly,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw told reporters at a press conference in Alberta’s capital.
The exemption was granted in the case of the Good Samaritan Southgate Care Center, where a coronavirus outbreak resulted in 27 deaths.
READ MORE: No new COVID-19 cases identified at Good Samaritan Southgate since August 2
Hinshaw said it is “essential that sufficient staff are in place” to ensure that not only the outbreak can be managed, but also to ensure that residents of these facilities can be treated.
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On Monday, Hinshaw announced that two more COVID-19 deaths have been linked to the Edmonton health center, while noting that no new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at the facility since August 2.
Earlier in the pandemic, Alberta adopted a rule for such facilities that staff can only work at one site. The measure was introduced in an attempt to mitigate the potential for the novel coronavirus to spread.
Hinshaw said staff shortages at Good Samaritan Southgate were identified at the end of July and added that of the staff brought in to help, most are currently not working at other facilities.
Given the exemption from the single-site staffing rule, Hinshaw was asked why Alberta Health Services had not simply taken over the Good Samaritan Southgate facility.
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“Whether or not a decision was made for AHS to take over (instead of partnering with the company and helping it)… resident care was at risk if they could not recruit additional staff. She said, adding that there was not enough staff. staff within the Good Samaritan Southgate worker pool
Calgary Daycare COVID-19 Cases
On Monday, Hinshaw announced that two cases of COVID-19 have been linked to BrightPath Richmond daycare in Calgary.
She said the facility operator had voluntarily closed it after the cases were confirmed. Hinshaw added that all staff and attendees at the facility are offered coronavirus testing.
“Affected rooms will remain closed for the duration of the 14-day incubation period for the virus,” a BrightPath statement said. “The other rooms will reopen on Tuesday, August 11, after a thorough cleaning of the entire center.
“Our hearts are with the two children and their families as they recover.”
Alberta has 5 more deaths from COVID-19
In addition to the two new deaths linked to the Good Samaritan Southgate Care Center, Hinshaw said on Monday that three other deaths have been linked to COVID-19 in Alberta since Friday.
Alberta Health said the other three deaths involved a man and woman, both in their 60s, from the South Zone and a man in their 60s from the North Zone. These three deaths were unrelated to long-term care facilities.
As of Monday afternoon, 213 deaths have been linked to COVID-19 in Alberta since the pandemic hit the province.
Hinshaw said Monday that 257 new cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed since Friday, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 1,090. Of the active cases, 66 people are hospitalized and 14 are in intensive care units.
Watch below: Some videos from Dr Deena Hinshaw’s press conference on Monday.
Since the pandemic hit Alberta, the province has confirmed 11,687 cases of COVID-19 and 10,384 recoveries. Across Alberta, 770,266 coronavirus tests have now been completed.
On Monday, Hinshaw offered his condolences to the loved ones of those who have died of the disease.
“We all need to make wise decisions,” she said, while reaffirming the importance of following public health recommendations and rules to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Hinshaw said it was important for people to adhere to these guidelines whether cases went up or down.
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