By Lethbridge Herald on October 7, 2020.
There were reports of multiple outbreaks of COVID-19 throughout the city on Wednesday.
A day after an outbreak was confirmed at Lethbridge Family Services, Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services confirmed a 23-case outbreak related to one local church community.
“AHS has identified an outbreak associated with one church community in the Lethbridge-area,” a statement released to the media on Wednesday read. “All individuals exposed to these cases are being contacted directly by AHS and instructed to follow requirements for isolation and testing. At this time, more than 20 new cases have been confirmed as linked to this outbreak. Case identification is ongoing.”
“So as to protect patient confidentiality, AHS doesn’t provide details of individual cases linked to specific gatherings of individuals,” AHS went on to state. “AHS reminds individuals to continue to be vigilant in following guidelines around social distancing, hand hygiene, masking and cohort groups.”
Alberta Health spokesperson Tom McMillan told The Herald the number officially stood at 23 cases as of Wednesday afternoon, but with more potentially expected.
He also confirmed one case at a local seniors’ residence and three at a local daycare, but could not officially state the identity of any of the locations as AHS continues to investigate how the cases spread in these three instances. However, other media sources have identified Children’s House Child Care Society as the daycare affected, and Extendicare Fairmont as the affected seniors’ residence through other sources.
McMillan said AHS was monitoring the situation.
“In all outbreaks, health officials have taken action, conducting contact tracing, and ensuring anyone at risk of exposure is isolated and tested,” explained McMillan in a statement released on Wednesday. “Depending on the situation, AHS may also work with facility operators and, if appropriate, provide assistance around cleaning, testing, or other support needed to protect the public health.”
“It’s important to remember that this virus is still with us,” he added. “The best way for Albertans to protect themselves is by practising physical distancing, staying home if sick, and following all the public health guidance available. This is the best way to protect ourselves and our friends and families.”
Lethbridge County has also seen a worrying increase in COVID cases in recent days, and now has 26 active cases out of a population of about 25,000. The county has officially been put on Alberta Health’s “Watch” list, which means the province is working with local officials to monitor the situation and is considering recommending additional health measures. It is currently only one of two regions in Alberta listed as being on Watch, and has the highest percentage of active cases in the province per capita at 100.3 cases per 100,000 population rate. The other is the City of Edmonton which has 980 active cases and a rate of about 95.9 cases per 100,000 population rate.
The City of Lethbridge now has 38 active cases and a rate of 38.4 per 100,000 population.
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