Coronavirus Canada updates: Dozens of cases in Alberta condo building

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Coronavirus Canada Updates: New Brunswick reports 6 new cases of COVID-19, confirmed cases in 2 schools
Coronavirus Canada Updates: New Brunswick reports 6 new cases of COVID-19, confirmed cases in 2 schools

There are now 32 people in a Calgary condominium building, Verve, who have contracted COVID-19, said Alberta’s chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw.

The location of the outbreak was made public by CTV News earlier this week, after Hinshaw originally announced 12 cases at the Calgary condominium building June 19. Officials believe that transmission most likely occurred through “common, high-touch surfaces.”

Of the cases, 27 of them are considered active and five have recovered. Three people from the outbreak are currently in hospital, “who were otherwise healthy individuals.” Everyone in the condominium has been offered a test, while enhanced cleaning has been underway.

Hinshaw reminded people to not stigmatize those who live in Verve. Alberta’s top doctor said she’s heard reports of symptomatic citizens not getting tested because of the stigma they might face.

“We will only be successful in keeping COVID-19 spread manageable if we are able to use evidence-based interventions, such as contact tracing and self-isolation of close contacts,” she said. “I know it can be uncomfortable to be in this position, whether you are a case or a close contact.”

On Thursday, Hinshaw also announced an additional fatality, involving a patient at the Misericordia Community Hospital in Edmonton. The individual is part of an outbreak that has infected six patients and five staff members.

“This is the first time that we have had an acute-care outbreak where transmission has occurred within a facility that’s affected patients,” Hinshaw said, noting that other outbreaks in hospitals have been among staff.

The update increases its death toll to 154. The victims are among the province’s 7,851 cases, after Hinshaw announced 26 new patients.

Of the province’s total cases, 7,191 are considered recovered, an increase of 57 since Wednesday Of the 506 active cases that remain, 207 of them are in the Calgary zone (down by 12) and 237 are in the Edmonton zone (down by 13).

Thirty-eight people are in hospital (up by two), which includes eight in intensive care (up one). Among those hospitalized are four Edmontonians under the age of 30, who had no underlying health conditions, but they’ve become very sick, said Hinshaw.

It’s a reminder that young people can also be severely affected by COVID-19. The majority of cases from recent weeks have involved people under 40, while the average patient age in Alberta is 39, said Hinshaw.

Since the start of the pandemic, health officials in Alberta have completed 415,716 tests for COVID-19. On Thursday, it was announced that Alberta will soon begin testing for COVID-19 at 20 community pharmacies, located primarily in Edmonton and Calgary.

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