Alberta confirms 105 new COVID-19 cases, one additional case in central zone

Government to announce funding to help continuing care facilities

Alberta government confirmed 105 COVID-19 cases Monday, including one additional case in the central zone.

That brings the provincial total to 2,908 and 77 in the central zone.

The province confirmed four additional deaths Monday, bringing the total deaths in the province at 59. The deaths are in Calgary and Edmonton zones.

Between Sunday and Monday afternoon, the province conducted more than 3,000 tests. More than 100,000 tests have been conducted in the province to date.

Of the total cases, 1,230 people have recovered in the province.

In the coming days, Alberta will roll out new funding which will increase staffing of health-care aides to alleviate pressures in contracted continuing care facilities.

Minister of Health Tyler Shandro noted about half of deaths in Canada are in continuing care facilities.

In Alberta, 330 cases have been reported at these facilities, with a total of 34 deaths due to novel coronavirus.

Provincial supports will include additional funding to allow for: increased health-care aide staffing levels, a wage top-up of an additional $2 per hour for health-care aides and up to 1,000 paid student practicum positions to fast-track certification and get more staff into continuing care facilities.

Increased funding will help facilities hire about 1,000 additional full-time staff so they can adequately prevent infections and respond to outbreaks. The addition of 1,000 practicum students will also help deal with staffing shortages across the system. A wage supplement will help compensate health-care aides at contracted sites for the extra work necessary during this pandemic. It will also help alleviate the financial burden for those who normally work at several sites, but are now restricted to one site.

These new measures are estimated to cost an additional $7.3 million per month and are specific support for the pandemic period.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer, said the additional funding will help staff at continuing care facilities better care for seniors.

“This will allow staff to spend more time caring for residents and provide companionship that many may be missing. It will support both mental and physical health of residents and workers,” she said.

Hinshaw encourges Albertans to take advantage of the nice weather and enjoy Spring in the province, but while practicing social distancing.

“Getting exercise and spending time outside is important and you can do it while continuing to take all necessary precautions and following public health orders while you’re out of the house.”



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

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