Alberta Health Services has declared an outbreak at the Edmonton Remand Centre after seven contracted workers tested positive for COVID-19.
In all seven cases, staff appeared to acquire the virus from outside the remand centre in north Edmonton, AHS spokesperson Amy Crofts said in an emailed statement on Saturday. There is no evidence to suggest the virus has spread within the facility, she said.
The seven workers tested positive between Sept. 19 and Oct. 2, Crofts said. There have been no close contacts identified at the remand. AHS defines a close contact as anyone who spent more than 15 minutes and stayed within two metres of a person with a confirmed COVID-19 case.
All people admitted to the remand are tested for COVID-19 and held under 14-day quarantine when they arrive. AHS says physical distancing and personal protective equipment protocols are in place.
In response to follow-up questions from CBC News, AHS said it would not have any further information about the outbreak over the weekend.
The outbreak at Canada’s largest prison comes after inmates expressed concern about COVID-19 protections. People incarcerated at the Edmonton remand described the quarantine unit as “hell”, with at least 22.5 hours in lock-up, little time to shower or make calls, and no access to books or the canteen.
The province has previously dismissed calls to depopulate jails to allow for remaining inmates and staff to better physically distance. Some people incarcerated the remand were transferred to two empty units at the Edmonton Young Offender Centre.
About 1,500 people are incarcerated at the Edmonton Remand, which has a capacity of about 2,000 people.
Alberta sets new daily record with 622 COVID-19 cases – CTV Edmonton
Alberta reported 622 cases of COVID-19 Friday, the highest single-day count to date.
The record-breaking day increased active infections to 5,172, also a pandemic high.
The Edmonton and Calgary health zones have more than 2,000 cases each with 2,312 and 2,034, respectively.
Alberta Health also reported five deaths Friday — four in the Edmonton zone and one in the Calgary zone — increasing the province’s death toll to 323.
Hospitalization numbers also set new highs Friday with 140 patients with COVID-19, including 25 in intensive care.
Alberta has reported 27,664 cases to date.
Record-breaking 622 COVID-19 cases reported in Alberta Friday – Edmonton Journal
New COVID-19 cases reported in Alberta soared to 622 on Friday, the first time Alberta has seen more than 600 new cases in a single day.
The province has shattered its previous case record set last weekend when more than 500 cases were reported on both Saturday and Sunday. Of Friday’s new cases, 218 are in the Edmonton Zone. The zone continues to be the hotspot for the disease in Alberta, with 2,312 active cases, followed closely by Calgary Zone with 2,034.
Five more people have died from COVID-19 in the province.
Of these deaths, one is a man in his 70s in the Edmonton Zone. His death is not linked to any continuing care outbreaks, says Alberta Health spokesman Tom McMillan. A man in his 80s and another in his 90s have died in the outbreak at Edmonton General Continuing Care.
Eight people have died in the Edmonton General Continuing Care outbreak, according to a statement on Covenant Health’s website. There have been 91 cases including 61 patients and 30 staff.
Flu shots now available | wellandtribune.ca – WellandTribune.ca
Flu shots are available once again across Alberta.
All Albertans older than six months are eligible to be immunized, free of charge.
This year, the province has shifted away from providing the influenza vaccine at large public health clinics because of COVID-19, according to Alberta Health Services.
Instead, flu shots are being provided free of charge at pharmacies and doctors’ offices.
Pharmacies are offering the vaccine to Albertans five years and older. Physicians are offering vaccines to everyone nine years of age and older, with some providing vaccines to children aged between six months and eight years of age (call to confirm).
AHS is offering immunizations by appointment to children under five years old and to anyone sharing a household with them.
Individuals under the age of nine need two doses, received at least four weeks apart. Everyone else needs only one dose per flu season.
There are multiple types of flu vaccine approved for use in Canada. Some are trivalent, meaning they confer immunity against three strains of flu, including two influenza A strains (H1N1 and H3N2 subtypes) and one influenza B strain, while some are quadrivalent (four strains), conferring immunity against an additional influenza B strain.
A high-dose influenza vaccine is being offered to residents who are 65 years and older in provincially funded long-term care facilities.
While everyone is at risk of contracting influenza, people with heart or lung conditions, diabetes, a weak immune system, obesity or other health problems are more likely to become very sick and develop other health problems. Additionally, people living in care facilities, are under the age of five or over the age of 65, are pregnant, or are Indigenous are considered to be at higher risk, according to Alberta Health Services.
In addition to protecting vulnerable Albertans, immunization will lessen the burden on the health care system that is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, by decreasing influenza-related tests, emergency room visits and hospitalizations, according to a government press release.
A record 1.96 million doses of vaccine have been ordered by the government, which is enough to immunize about 45 per cent of the population. Last year’s immunization rate was 33 per cent, an increase from 30 per cent in the year prior.
Anyone with flu symptoms should book a test for COVID-19, as the two viruses present similar symptoms, said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health.
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