COVID-19 outbreak spreads through AgeCare SkyPointe care home, as death toll climbs to 19

CALGARY — An email newsletter sent on Boxing Day from officials of a long-term care centre in Calgary’s northeast revealed the holidays have been extremely difficult, as a COVID-19 outbreak has grown.

AgeCare SkyPointe had four additional resident deaths and nine more positive cases of COVID-19, bringing to the total to 124 as of Saturday.

The death toll for residents has reached 19.

“Our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of this resident. Our staff are deeply impacted and saddened by their passing as every resident is a special member of the AgeCare family,” reads the email.

It adds that family members of residents that have tested positive have been notified their loved ones will enter isolation.

Staff at AgeCare SkyPointe are also seeing increased rates of transmission, as the email indicates that an infected staff member worked on Christmas Day but didn’t show signs of symptoms.

That worker is now “self-isolating at home and will not be returning to work until Public Health has cleared them,” said the email.

There are 41 active cases among staff, bringing the total to 89.

CTV News reached out to SkyPointe directly and to AgeCare, the operator, but did not hear back on Sunday.

AHS aware of outbreak

In an e-mailed statement to CTV news, Alberta Health Services says it is aware of the outbreak at the care facility.

“All staff and residents have been offered COVID-19 swabbing as part of the outbreak response at the facility. AHS’ Public Health is carrying out contact tracing, as per usual process.

“Additionally, numerous supports have been put in place, including communicable disease control, infection prevention and control, and environmental public health. Regular staff and resident screening is in place, as are cleaning protocols as per CMOH orders,” said AHS.

It adds, sufficient staffing resources are available, and nursing case managers are working in collaboration with staff.

“We continue to closely monitor the situation and extend our condolences to the families of who have lost loved ones during this time,” said AHS.

The email from SkyPointe says staff movement between floors is minimized and face shields have been provided in addition to face masks.

Indoor and outdoor visits are suspended, as are group recreation activities and cleaning has been enhanced, it adds.

On December 26, Alberta added an estimated 500 new cases discovered after 6,900 laboratory tests.

Rates for hospitalization and intensive care admission remained stable, according to a tweet from Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health.

“Please note: fewer people were tested Dec. 25 so fewer tests were processed and reported on Dec. 26,” tweeted Hinshaw.

This is a developing story.

CTV News will bring more developments as they become available.

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