Three Red Deer doctors were among the 12 medical staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a bonspiel in Edmonton earlier this month.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health for Alberta, did not identify these doctors during her Tuesday video conference. But she said all efforts have been made to contact their patients and co-workers.
So far, 58 local patients and 97 health care workers have been tracked down as potential contacts, said Hinshaw.
More work is needed to determine how close of contact they had with the Red Deer doctors, and whether they have to self-isolate and watch for symptoms, she added.
According to the provincial map that tracks COVID-19 cases, there are now 14 confirmed viral cases in Red Deer. Nine are in the east, four in the southwest and one in the north.
As well, there are two cases in Red Deer County, two viral cases in Lacombe, and one case each in Innisfail and Olds as part of 28 in total in the central health zone.
Hinshaw said there were 57 new virus cases in Alberta in the past 24 hours — including a second death in the province of an 80-year-old woman in Calgary’s McKenzie Towne Long-Term Care Centre.
At the same nursing home, one staff member and two other residents have also been diagnosed with the virus, and 11 other residents are showing symptoms.
Expressing her condolences to the family of the deceased, Hinshaw said there are now a total of 358 cases of the virus in the province.
About 28 of these cases are thought to have spread from community transmission, which Hinshaw said underlines the need for ongoing vigilance about staying home and maintaining two metres of social distancing.
Anyone who comes down with symptoms, such as a sore throat, runny nose and fever, should self-isolate for 10 days after the symptoms show up, said Hinshaw.
That means, if they have been in contact with someone who is viral, and have already been in isolation for five days (of their 14-day quarantine) before they start getting these symptoms, Hinshaw said they should stay away from others for a total of 15 days.
News of the second death in the province “is sad for all of us,” said the medical officer of health.
“Though we’re doing everything we can to limit cases of critical illness and death from this serious virus, tragically, we know deaths will occur.”
Hinshaw prevailed upon every Albertan to take necessary precautions — including staying at least two metres away from others while in grocery stores or outdoors — as a prevention measure.
As well, she cautioned about washing hands after touching communal property, such as serving spoons.