AHS, Covenant Health launch COVID-19 investigation at Grey Nuns Hospital as Misericordia reopens

Article content continued

Those patients are moved within the facility to keep them in a certain area, Heisler said.

“Now we start to look to see who they touched and who they didn’t touch in terms of everybody in the system. It’s kind of a cautious approach,” said Heisler.

Zygun said outbreaks are expected during a pandemic and the goal is to identify them early before transmission spreads.

“We need to maintain our vigilance throughout our institutions,” said Zygun.

The investigation at the Grey Nuns came the same day Zygun and Heisler spoke to media regarding the reopening of the Misericordia Hospital. The west Edmonton facility had been under a full-facility COVID-19 outbreak since July 8.

The Misericordia’s emergency department, labour and delivery services and the neonatal intensive care unit began accepting new patients in its emergency department Friday. The rest of the hospital will reopen with a phased approach. Zygun said the hospital is roughly estimated to be back to pre-outbreak operations in two to four weeks.

“Over the next couple weeks, we’ll slowly ramp up the ambulatory activity, the surgical activity and all the other services that are needed,” said Zygun.

The Misericordia outbreak was linked to 58 cases of COVID-19: 31 patients, 25 staff and two visitors. Eleven patients died and one individual is still hospitalized. All other cases are classified as recoveries.

There have been no new cases at the hospital since July 17.

Heisler said there are new protocols in place at the hospital, including additional screening of staff and patients and use of PPE. He said hospital administration plans to add further safety measures but those need to be brought to staff before they are implemented.

“We’re going to change rotations, we’re going to change how they do breaks. We’re going to change how we move people to hospital,” said Heisler.

[email protected]