New death linked to Misericordia outbreak as hospital reaches 1 month mark of being closed

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Another death has been linked to the Misericordia hospital COVID-19 outbreak, Alberta Health announced Friday afternoon.

A woman in her 80s has died from complications of the novel coronavirus.

The death comes as the hospital marks one month since its emergency department was closed and it stopped accepting new patients.

“The lockdown is the right thing to do. It’s minimizing exposure as much as possible between people,” first VP of United Nurses of Alberta Danielle Larivee said.

Read more: 134 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta on Friday as province passes 10,000 recoveries

Covenant Health said it is working with the province and Alberta Health Services to develop detailed plans on reopening the hospital through a phased approach when the full facility outbreak is finally lifted.

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A timeline for the reopening is unknown.

The United Nurses of Alberta says it represents nearly 1,000 registered nurses who work at the hospital. Many say it’s not easy to work amid the lockdown.

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“All of our members are concerned that going to work they could be exposed and take that home, certainly we have confirmation that healthcare workers have been affected,” Larivee said.

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A total of 58 cases are linked to the outbreak. Twenty-four of those are staff members.

“Healthcare workers are at 12 times the risk of being infected, so it’s not a surprise sometimes in a situation where there’s an outbreak,” Larivee said.

Alberta Health Services says the closure has lead to all Edmonton area hospitals and health facilities taking on additional patients. To keep up with the demand, AHS said additional staff have been deployed where needed.

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Task force to investigate Misericordia Hospital COVID-19 outbreak after 6 deaths

Task force to investigate Misericordia Hospital COVID-19 outbreak after 6 deaths

All aspects the nurses union is mindful of as it works to protect its members.

“We’re all working together to do all of the possible things that we can in order to keep someone safe, at the same time knowing the potential risks,” Larivee said.

Read more: No new COVID-19 cases linked to Edmonton’s Misericordia Hospital since July 17

Covenant Health said there have been no new cases related to the outbreak since July 17.

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