2nd patient dies as Foothills hospital outbreaks grow to 22 cases

Two patients have died, and 14 other patients and six staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 as outbreaks continue to spread at Foothills hospital in Calgary.

A total of 88 staff members are now in isolation, Alberta Health Services said Tuesday. But the hospital remains fully staffed as it uses overtime and reassignments to cover shifts as needed.

Two cardiac units and the hospital’s general unit are affected. The first case in one of the hospital’s cardiac units was detected Friday, and a case in the general unit was detected the next day.

On Monday, an AHS spokesperson said there was no evidence the outbreaks were connected.

AHS said in addition to enhanced screening, cleaning and restricted visitation on the affected units, the hospital has set up multiple sites for increased testing capacity for staff on outbreak units.

Any patient with symptoms or who has tested positive is being isolated and treated in designated rooms.

It continues to be safe to visit and receive care at the hospital, AHS said, but anyone who is exhibiting symptoms should not visit a hospital. 

AHS continues to investigate how the virus entered the units.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 1,565 active cases of COVID-19 across Alberta, 485 of whom are in Calgary. Of the 51 people being treated in hospital across the province, nine are in intensive care.

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