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Northern Lights Regional Health Centre confirms COVID-19 outbreak at medicine unit

The Emergency Room entrance at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre. Photographed August 16, 2015. Sarah Anderson REPORTER.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre’s (NLRHC) Medicine Unit.

The province included the hospital in its list of outbreak locations on the Alberta website as of Sept. 3, 2020.

RELATED: Province adds NLRHC to list of COVID-19 outbreak locations

“An outbreak was declared on the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre‚Äôs Medicine unit on Aug. 21, 2020, with one positive case. Since the outbreak was declared, there have been no new positive cases.” Said Logan Clow, AHS Senior Communications Advisor.

Clow said AHS limited the outbreak to the hospital’s medicine unit.

Outbreak control

Once a patient shows symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, they enter isolation and receive treatment in designated COVID rooms away from other patients.

Clow said staff implemented outbreak control measures as well as the following:

  • Test all patients and regularly monitor them for symptoms.
  • The medicine unit continues to accept new admissions, with enhanced screening measures.
  • Regularly conduct enhanced cleaning, including of high touch surfaces, three times daily.

 

Clow added there will be no further details about the case to protect patient privacy.

“The unit outbreak will be declared over once the Medical Officer of Health determines there is no further evidence of transmission.”

According to the province’s website, there must not be a new case of COVID-19 at a location for a period of four weeks before it declares an outbreak is over.

“The Northern Lights Regional Health Centre remains a safe place to visit and to receive care, and there is no increased risk to patients coming to the hospital. All AHS facilities follow rigorous Infection Prevention and Control standards. All healthcare workers are asked to self-assess for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure risk using a screening tool before reporting to a site for their shift, and our frontline teams are practising continuous masking while at work.”

Clow said staff screen all visitor and patients before they enter the hospital and other AHS facilities.

Visitation information is available on the AHS website, as well as up-to-date information on COVID-19.