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UPDATED: COVID outbreaks at Red Deer lodges while residents wait for vaccine

Vaccinations scheduled for this week
One health care aide tested positive early this week at Parkvale Lodge, and one resident and two staff at Piper Creek Lodge last week. (File photo by Advocate staff)

A 93-year-old Lacombe Lodge resident was going for her first COVID-19 vaccine shot on Wednesday in Red Deer instead of waiting for the vaccine to come to her.

Recently Alberta Health Services said that vaccinations at some central Alberta seniors facilities had to be rescheduled due to inconsistency in vaccine supply.

Linda Palmer said with vaccine now being made available to Albertans 65 and older, she didn’t believe AHS. Her family was fed up so an appointment was made last week for her mother to get her first dose on Wednesday.

“It’s sad it’s come to that,” said Palmer, of Dewinton.

“Everybody’s frustrated, but nobody seems to be able to give a plausible reason why several lodges have been left out.”

Palmer expected other families will arrange vaccinations for their loved ones too.


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Residents at Parkvale, Piper Creek in Red Deer, and Sylvan Lake Lodge, have also been disappointed over cancelled vaccinations.

Geoff Olson, executive director of Bridges Community Living, said vaccinations were finally happening at Parkvale on Wednesday, and the rest were scheduled to get the vaccine by the end of the week.

But he said while they were waiting, one health care aide tested positive early this week at Parkvale, and one resident and two staff at Piper Creek last week.

These facilities should have been prioritized ahead of the general public instead of being put on the back burner, he said.

“It’s so unfortunate they were not included in the initial rollout. These are the people who have actually made the true lock-down sacrifice over the last 12 months,” Olsen said.

He said getting vaccinated at their lodge is better than getting an appointment elsewhere.

“When they leave the lodge it does increase their chances of coming in contact with somebody who may be asymptomatic and positive and then they can bring it back. We’re not telling people they can’t do it. We’re not encouraging it,” Olson said.

In a statement, AHS said immunizations were rescheduled to March 17 to 23 for Parkvale Lodge and Piper Creek Lodge, Revera Ingelwood, Sylvan Lake Seniors Lodge, and Lacombe Lodge.

By March 26, residents in all the lodges within the Central zone should have received their first dose.

“Now that we have more certainty around vaccine supply, we do not anticipate further delays, and we apologize for the uncertainty and frustration that this has caused,” AHS said.

As of Tuesday, the following facilities in Central zone have curent outbreaks according to AHS: Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre (12 active cases); Bethany Meadows in Camrose (16 cases - 13 recovered, 3 deaths); Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre (two recovered cases); Covenant Care Villa Marie in Red Deer (two recovered cases); Extendicare Michener Hill in Red Deer (eight cases - one active, seven recovered); Michener Services in Red Deer (10 cases - two active, eight recovered); two Parkland group homes in Red Deer (14 cases - one active, 13 recovered); Piper Creek Lodge in Red Deer (three active cases); private group home in Red Deer (five recovered cases); Providence Place Daysland (two recovered cases); and Revera Aspen Ridge in Red Deer (four recovered cases).

Four residents have died at Revera Aspen Ridge since an outbreak was declared on Feb. 17. A total of 37 residents and ten staff have tested positive for COVID-19, and 28 residents and eight staff members have recovered.

“We continue to work closely with Alberta Health Services officials and are following our pandemic outbreak protocols and infection control practices. An AHS Public Health team attended Aspen Ridge on March 3 to offer the first round of vaccine to eligible residents,” said Dr. Rhonda Collins, Revera chief medical officer in a statement.

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