Coronavirus Canada updates: New outbreak declared at northeast Calgary long-term care home

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Coronavirus Canada Updates: $214 million for Canadian-made COVID-19 vaccines
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A new outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at a long-term care home in northeast Calgary.

Eight cases of the illness have been identified at Generations Calgary — six staff members and two residents.

Ian West, vice-president of operations for Park Place Seniors, which operates the facility says they’ve been “systematically encouraging” staff to get tested.

He worries about the impact of loosening restrictions tied to the pandemic, particularly easing limits on visitors at care homes.

“The more people you introduce back into the home, the more opportunity the virus has to travel,” he said.

“So it is a difficult balance between those things.”

The outbreak at Generations comes as dozens of others in Calgary are slowly declared over, after months of deadly infections across the city.

“As is standard practice, AHS is working with the facility operator to ensure they are following guidance in relation to required measures in place to protect public health,” said Alberta Health Services spokesperson James Wood in an email.

“These measures include such areas as resident isolation, testing, physical distancing, infection prevention and control, and enhanced cleaning measures.”

The vast majority of deaths reported in Calgary were in care homes.

West says the company has been offering advice to the province on how to ease restrictions carefully.

He also has advice for Albertans as they navigate the relaunch — to keep in mind they could infect a long-term care worker who could then bring it into a home.

“Everyone has to proceed on the basis that they in fact have the virus, and protect others from themselves on that basis,” said West.

“It doesn’t take a lot to do that.”

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