Red Deer hospital restricts visitors after COVID-19 outbreak
All patients and staff on two units are being swabbed and tested
Red Deer hospital is cracking down on visitors after two people tested positive for COVID-19 in connection with two units at the medical facility.
Alberta Health Services said the first case was confirmed on July 16 and the second on July 21. It did not state which two units were impacted, or whether the people who tested positive were patients, staff, or close contacts of those individuals.
Contact tracing is underway, AHS said, and all patients and staff on those two units are being swabbed and tested. Risk to patients and staff is minimal, AHS said.
Visitors to the hospital will only be permitted under the following circumstances:
- End-of-life situations.
- To accompany maternity or pediatric (under 18) patients.
- To accompany patients with cognitive or mobility impairments.
The restrictions took effect Friday.
"We are taking this situation extremely seriously and have taken swift action," said Kimberly Storey, AHS senior operating officer for the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, in a release.
"Restricting visitors is not a decision we've made lightly. We recognize the benefit to our patients when they're able to have friends and family come visit them.
"This is a necessary step to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in our facility, and to keep our patients and healthcare providers safe."
Permitted visitors will also have to complete a health screening prior to entering the hospital, wear a mask, avoid spaces like the cafeteria and wear ID to designate that they are permitted to visit a patient.
AHS said workplace health and safety teams are working to ensure the hospital remains safe, and said a response plan is in place to mitigate outbreak situations.
The hospital is one of two outbreaks in Red Deer, the other at Waskasoo Kiwanis Towers retirement home.
There were nine active cases in the city of Red Deer as of Friday, out of 1,341 active cases in the province.