Alberta Covid-19 cases rise as Calgary condo infection surges to 48

Calgary condo where outbreak of Covid-19 has infected 32 from surface touching

Edmonton – Alberta’s infection counts are rising after the early lifting of restrictions.

At the same time authorities are trying to solve the puzzle of a high-rise condo known as the Verve where 48 people are infected from a mysterious contaminated common surface.

Alberta had done well prior to an early entry into phase 2.

On Monday Alberta’s cases surged to 71 new infections, active cases are now at 559.

389,687 people have been tested for COVID-19 and a total of 442,253 tests performed by the lab.

41 people are in hospital with 9 in ICU.

So far 154 have died and most were seniors living in care homes.

* About 90 per cent of deaths linked to COVID-19 were individuals over the age of 70.

A spokesman for Alberta Health Services said the number of cases related to the condo tower in Calgary went up to 48.

 “AHS Public Health is working closely with Verve building management and will continue to monitor the site closely for cases and to investigate the source of spread.

“We are investigating both direct person-to-person and surface spread as potential modes of transmission.”

 “When an increased number of cases in the building was identified the week before last, Public Health inspectors visited the site to inspect both the food establishments and housing areas.

“Appropriate measures to reduce transmission were already in place at that time, including enhanced cleaning practices, and no concerning lapses in procedure were identified.”

 A spokesman said most of the cases have no known exposure and no clear link with other people in the building.

“This is currently (as of June 29) still under investigation. We are exploring high-touch surfaces as a potential source of transmission and plan to do environmental sampling this week. AHS is facilitating on-site testing.”

 Residents can reduce their risk and the risk to their neighbours by doing the following:

• Get tested;

• Watch for symptoms and isolate if you develop them;

• Isolate in their unit if symptomatic or advised to do so by AHS Public Health.

• Prevent the spread through actions such as washing hands often and practicing physical distancing when outside your home.

Another troubling outbreak is at Misericordia Hospital.

“There are now 11 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 at the hospital. That number is unchanged since yesterday (June 28).”

 “In addition, we have nine staff who have tested positive for COVID-19. That is an increase of one positive case since yesterday (June 28).”

• The average age of a death from COVID-19 is 83.

• All Albertans over the age of 80 face the same risk of death from a COVID-19 infection, regardless of whether they live in continuing care or the community.

• The average age for hospitalization from COVID-19 is 60.

• About 90 per cent of Albertans who died from COVID-19 had two or more underlying conditions.

• About 47 per cent of Albertans admitted to ICU had two or more pre-existing conditions.

• About one in 11 Albertans (more than 381,000 people) are 70 years or older.

• About 37,000 Albertans reside in long-term care, designated supportive living and seniors lodges.

Alberta offers testing with no restrictions.

“Asymptomatic testing for all Albertans, including at all locations with outbreaks and all continuing care facilities.”

Pharmacies can now carry out testing.

Subsequent to opening most infections are occurring in younger people and they too can become very sick, according to OHO Dr. Deena Hinshaw.