Outbreak declared at Peter Lougheed Centre's ER after 12 staff contract COVID-19

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An outbreak has been declared at the Peter Lougheed Centre's emergency department (ED) after 12 staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

On Friday, the ED was on watch after six staff tested positive. At the time, an Alberta Health Services spokesperson said it was not considered an outbreak because there was "no evidence of forward transmission" at the facility. The outbreak was declared Saturday.

There are currently no patient cases tied to this outbreak and no concerns with staffing levels, AHS said in a statement.

"The ED at the Peter Lougheed Centre remains open and is a safe and appropriate place to receive urgent and emergency care," AHS said.

"The source of the outbreak is under investigation and contact tracing work continues."

There are five other units at the northeast Calgary hospital currently experiencing outbreaks:

  • A pulmonary unit, where two patients and three health-care workers have tested positive. One patient has died.

  • A medicine/geriatrics unit, where one patient and one health-care worker have tested positive.

  • A general medicine unit, where one patient and one health-care worker have tested positive.

  • A seasonal flu unit, where one health-care worker has tested positive. A mental health unit, where one patient has tested positive.

The outbreak comes as Calgary hospital ICUs are seeing their surge capacity stretch, with one doctor describing the situation as "day-to-day survival mode."

There are currently 777 people in hospital across the province, including 151 in intensive care, and 19,260 active cases of COVID-19.

AHS said all of its facilities have rigrous infection prevention and control standards in place. Visitation information is available on the AHS website.