(File photo)

(File photo)

Three patients at Ponoka hospital test positive for COVID-19

Visitors to acute care will be allowed for end-of-life situations

An outbreak has been declared at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre.

An outbreak was declared for the acute care unit on Dec. 9, 2020, according to Alberta Health Services’ website (albertahealthservices.ca), which is updated daily.

As of Dec. 11, there are three confirmed COVID-19 cases linked to the outbreak, all of which are in patients.

According to a statement from Alberta Health Services (AHS), there are currently no cases in the long-term care unit at the hospital.

“AHS Public Health is carrying out their robust contract tracing process; potential contacts are being directly contacted to arrange for testing, and provided with guidance for self-isolation as needed to reduce the possibility of spread,” reads the statement.

“Testing for COVID-19 for all acute care patients, staff and physicians is ongoing.

“The site is working closely with the Medical Officer of Health, Workplace Health and Safety and Infection Prevention and Control to ensure the hospital is safe and that all steps are being taken to minimize risk of spread.

“In response to the outbreak and the staffing challenges experienced due to necessary work exclusions, AHS has implemented a number of temporary measures at the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre to ensure the safety of patients, residents, staff and physicians. These measures include enhanced cleaning protocols across the facility, temporarily pausing new acute care admissions, temporarily diverting obstetrical patients to Red Deer and restricting visitors in acute care.

“Visitors to acute care will be allowed in end-of-life situations. We encourage all patients and families to stay connected through virtual visits.

“The emergency department remains open and those in need of urgent care will receive it. Patients who require acute care admission will be stabilized and transferred by EMS to nearby facilities for appropriate care.

“We recognize that these temporary measures and not being able to visit loved ones and friends in hospital can be upsetting; however such actions are necessary as we make every effort to ensure the safety of patients, residents, staff and physicians during this time. Such actions also help us to have appropriate resources – including staffing and equipment – in place to care for those in the hospital. These are not decisions we make lightly, or without thorough review with the Medical Officer of Health and clinical leadership.”

Back in July, a Alberta Precision Laboratory (APL) staff member at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19. It was a single incident and not considered an outbreak.

READ MORE: AHS confirms Ponoka Hospital staff case

As of Friday, Dec. 11, the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury was still on the outbreak list on alberta.ca for central Alberta.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusPonoka

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

Just Posted

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which causes COVID-19, emerge from the surface of cells isolated from a patient in the U.S. and cultured in a lab in a 2020 electron microscope image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Alberta adds 463 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

The central zone has 818 active cases

Damien Kurek
The return of parliament: ensuring you are heard

‘If you have any questions about my work for you, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office’

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta identifies 573 new COVID-19 cases, 13 deaths on Saturday

There are currently 9,727 active cases of the virus in the province

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Red Fraggle, one of Jim Henson Company’s Fraggle Rock characers, is shown at Time To Play Holiday Show, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010, in New York. The Jim Henson Company says production has officially started in Calgary on a reboot of the original 1980s children’s puppet series, which was filmed in Toronto.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mark Lennihan
‘Fraggle Rock’ children’s puppet series reboot starts production in Calgary

A spokesperson says the new series will stream on Apple TV plus

Black Press file photo
Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate fatal pedestrian collision

A 37-year-old man from Maskwacis has died in hospital as a result of his injuries.

A registered nurse prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Yukon’s Minister of Community Services, John Streiker, says he’s outraged that a couple from outside the territory travelled to a remote community this week and received doses of COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-POOL
Couple charged after travelling to Yukon to get COVID-19 vaccine

The maximum fine under the emergency measures act is $500, and up to six months in jail

Metis Nation of B.C. President Clara Morin Dal Col poses in this undated handout photo. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Metis Nation of B.C. *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Metis Nation of B.C. suspends president, citing ‘breach’ of policies, procedures

Vice-president Lissa Smith is stepping in to fill the position on an acting basis

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in the in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Payette shouldn’t get same benefits as other ex-governors general: O’Toole

Former governors general are entitled to a pension and also get a regular income paid to them for the rest of their lives

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Blackfalds RCMP investigate fatal collision

Preliminary investigation revealed a south bound pickup truck collided with an eastbound car

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Most Read