One new death as COVID-19 outbreak grows at south Edmonton care home

Shepherd's Care continuing-care centre in Mill Woods is reporting an increase of 16 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death, according to an update posted to the foundation's website on Saturday.

101 cases at Shepherd's Care Foundation's long-term care centre in Mill Woods

There are now 98 cases of COVID-19 tied to an outbreak at Shepherd's Care Foundation's Millwoods long-term care centre. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

Shepherd's Care continuing-care centre in south Edmonton is reporting an increase of 16 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death, according to an update posted to the foundation's website on Saturday.

This brings the death toll to eight at the Mill Woods facility. 

There are now 101 cases of COVID-19 linked to the outbreak at the care centre. Residents have seen an increase of six cases, bringing the total to 60 from last week. 

The majority of the new cases are among staff. This brings the total number of staff with COVID-19 to 41 — 27 employed by Shepherd's Care, 10 placement student or support staff through the facility's service providers, and four employed by Alberta Health Services.

Thirteen staff have recovered so far. 

Zachary Penner, executive director of communications for Shepherd's Care, said it's believed all the resident cases are connected to spread before the facility went into isolation on Sept. 23.

"Depending on when they became positive, they may not have gotten a test for five or six days and it takes public health five or six days to report the numbers back to us," Penner said.

"So when you add on the delay from the testing and then the delays to get the results back, that's why we believe the numbers continue to go up a little last week."

Despite staff cases on the rise, Penner confirmed that AHS had given the facility an exemption from the single-site order. 

Under a single-site order, staff can only work at that one facility. But now with the exemption, staff from other facilities can come work at Shepherd's Care in Mill Woods as well as at other facilities. 

Penner said the exemption was to make up for the low numbers of staff at the facility due to staff that are sick or isolating.

He said Shepherd's Care has been transparent about the outbreak and that new staff coming in are aware of the circumstances. 

"Our medical staff are trained for this and I think everyone that goes into health care knows that they may be dealing with an outbreak situation," he said.

"We have AHS staff on hand to help manage the outbreak and make sure there is proper monitoring of hand hygiene and proper use of personal protective equipment."

Shepherd's Care is holding a public town hall meeting with president and CEO Shawn Terlson at 6 p.m. Monday.

Penner said the town hall is for members of the public, family members and residents to ask questions.


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