Alberta Health Services says Red Deer hospital will not be left short-staffed because three virus-infected doctors had contact with 97 other health care workers. (Advocate file photo).

Red Deer hospital staffing won’t suffer because 97 health workers had contact with infected doctors, says AHS

Many were wearing protective equipment

Red Deer hospital will not be left short-staffed because three doctors infected with COVID-19 had contact with 97 other health-care workers, says Alberta Health Services.

“As soon as these cases were confirmed, AHS took immediate action to trace and talk to all contacts of a confirmed or presumed case, as per protocol,” states an AHS spokeswoman.

While some of the contacted health care-workers are being required to self-isolate, she added many others had been wearing personal protective equipment that ensured no viral spread.

“Where contact occurred when both the (infected doctor) and the (health care) contact were wearing appropriate PPE, there is no risk of transmission…

“We are not short-staffed at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre due to self-isolation in connection with these confirmed cases,” states the AHS spokeswoman.

“Our contact tracing of these cases at this time indicates no further spread of COVD-19 related to these cases.”

On Tuesday, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health for Alberta, said three Red Deer doctors were among the 12 medical staff who tested positive for COVID-19 following a curling bonspiel earlier this month in Edmonton.

AHS maintains it’s continuing to monitor staffing levels at Red Deer hospital and at other health-care facilities across the central zone as part of its pandemic response.

The public is being assured that proactive work was done in preparation of an anticipated surge in patients with COVID-19, as well as the impact from some staff being forced to self-isolate or stay home to look after children.

All scheduled and elective surgeries were postponed as a necessary step “to allow us to redeploy front-line staff, physicians and equipment to areas of greatest need,” said the spokeswoman.

AHS is ready to reduce other non-urgent, in-hospital services, if needed, to free up staffing capacity and limit the spread of infection “during these extraordinary times.”

Health care staff across Alberta are being credited for their “overwhelmingly positive response” in offering assistance in response to the COVID-19 efforts.

As part of the AHS contingency process, locum doctors and contracted health providers have been located and are willing to be parachuted in, if necessary.

This week, screening practices were implemented for all patients and visitors coming to Red Deer hospital. As well, all staff, physicians and contractors will go through a health screening at the hospital, other health-care sites and seniors’ continuing-care facilities.

Temperature checks are given as they enter and they are asked to complete a short questionnaire to assess health risk. Any employee deemed unfit for work will be asked to return home to self-isolate.

AHS is also implementing a process that could expedite the return to work of health-care workers who are self-isolating, but displaying no symptoms.

“This will only be done in exceptional and limited circumstances.”



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Central Alberta woman receives North American award for leading Red Deer Regional Health Foundation

Manon Therriault at the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation has always embraced… Continue reading

Families displaced after Red Deer fire Sunday

A structure fire displaced two families in north Red Deer Sunday morning.… Continue reading

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

In its place is employment insurance, which the government says the majority of people will go on

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Sept. 27

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00… Continue reading

WE Charity controversy prompts examination of group’s overseas footprint

On Sept. 9, WE Charity said it would wind down its Canadian operations

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Nearly 1M who died of COVID-19 also illuminated treatment

The nearly 1 million people around the world who have lost their… Continue reading

Toronto health officer closes 3 restaurants as result of COVID contact tracing

Toronto’s top public health official has ordered the closure of three downtown… Continue reading

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

CALGARY — Canadian ski resort operators planning for a season that begins… Continue reading

Tenille Townes, Dean Brody and Brett Kissel top nominees at tonight’s CCMA Awards

OTTAWA — Tenille Townes could be lined up for some major wins… Continue reading

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

TERRACE, B.C. — Health care in the era of COVID-19 took centre… Continue reading

Watchdog to investigate fatal Winnipeg crash that sent two kids to hospital

Winnipeg police say a woman has died and five others — including… Continue reading

The ‘relentless underdog’: Green Leader Sonia Furstenau ready for uphill battle

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau was driving Monday when she turned on the… Continue reading

Mi’kmaq power, inside and beyond Ottawa, stronger than in past fishery battles

HALIFAX — When Jaime Battiste was in his early 20s, cable news… Continue reading

Most Read