AHS Update May 6 2020

Posted on Thursday May 07, 2020 at 04:01PM

 The following is an excerpt from an update provided by Alberta Health Services as of Wednesday, May 6th:

As of Wednesday, May 6, we have confirmed 70 new cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the provincial total to 5,963. Of the total cases, Of the total cases, we suspect 730 cases may be from unknown exposure (acquired in the community from unknown sources), 249 have been hospitalized and 52 have been in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Currently, there are 82 cases in hospital, with 19 in an ICU. 3,552 cases have now recovered — roughly three out of every five cases.

We’re sad to report six additional deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the provincial total to 112 lives lost in Alberta related to COVID-19. AHS extends its deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of these individuals, as well as the healthcare workers who cared for them.

3,494 tests were completed over the last 24 hours, bringing our total COVID-19 tests to 170,509 since the start of the pandemic.

Updated visitation guidelines now online
Following the recent orders from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, AHS has updated our visitor guidance to clarify a few additional visitor exceptions.

To help ensure continued protection of residents in long-term care and supportive living, as well as to improve their quality of life, visitor guidelines now allow residents of these facilities who are not in isolation to enjoy outdoor visits with a designated essential visitor and one other person. While outside, all appropriate precautions must be taken to prevent exposure to COVID-19, including physical distancing and the requirement that all visitors wear a mask or face covering.

Visitor guidelines have also been amended to provide more guidance and clarity around visitation for those who have loved ones in an end-of-life situation. This amendment allows up to two visitors at a time to visit a patient who is dying within any AHS facility, as long as physical distancing can be maintained between the visitors. The updated guidelines also acknowledge the significance and importance of traditional Indigenous practices and protocols in the end-of-life pathway.

These are extraordinary times and, as difficult as these decisions have been to make, visitor restrictions have been put in place to ensure we are doing all we can to protect the health of other patients, staff, residents and the public.

We understand these temporary visitor restrictions are extremely difficult for those who have a loved one at end of life, as well as for those who have lost loved ones and were unable to visit them. Our thoughts are with everyone who has lost loved ones during this time.

Visitor restrictions will be updated on a regular basis as the pandemic progresses. Please continue to encourage visitors to use other virtual methods — such as phone calls or video messaging — to remain in contact with loved ones.

National Hospice Palliative Care Week
This week (May 4 – 10) is National Hospice Palliative Care Week.

Palliative and end-of-life care (PEOLC) is both a philosophy and an approach to care that enables all individuals with a life-limiting and/or life-threatening illness to receive integrated and coordinated care across the continuum. This care incorporates patient and family values, preferences and goals of care, and spans the disease process from early diagnosis to end-of-life, including bereavement. Now, more than ever, the skilled and compassionate palliative approach to care is needed to support patients and families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We would like to thank our front-line clinicians and staff for caring for PEOLC patients and their families during this critical time. Thank you to those of you supporting PEOLC in other ways, such as providing direction, revising guidelines and creating documents to support patients, families and front-line healthcare providers during this pandemic. Please take care of yourselves and your families, and know your work is needed and much appreciated.

The following is a list of resources and information on PEOLC and COVID-19:
• AHS COVID website with provincial PEOLC resources approved by the Emergency Coordination Centre
• Continuing Care Connection website
• The Provincial PEOLC team has developed a PEOLC COVID-19 SharePoint site that is accessible to AHS and Covenant Health staff. If you would like to access this site, please email palliative.care@ahs.ca.
For more information on PEOLC, visit the Palliative Care webpages on MyHealth.Alberta.ca. This website is a reliable, clinically relevant and evidence-based accessible source of PEOLC interdisciplinary information for both healthcare providers and the public.

Close monitoring at province’s meat-processing plants
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), shared an update today on measures to address outbreaks at some of the province’s meat-processing plants.

Dr. Hinshaw confirmed all meat-processing facilities in Alberta with outbreaks underway have implemented safety controls that meet requirements identified by AHS, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Occupational Health and Safety legislation and CMOH orders. AHS has performed multiple inspections at each facility, and testing is being offered to all workers in outbreaks, including those without symptoms.

Closing message
In times like these — times of high demand, times of stress — it’s important to remember that not one of us is alone. Yes, because of our training, many of us are tasked with responsibilities that only a few others can do. But we can still draw strength and assurance by taking a minute and recognizing how many people are supporting us, and how many people are doing what they can do to help us succeed as a team and as a healthcare system.

Albertans across the province are showing their appreciation for AHS’ efforts in a very public and heartfelt way. We have businesses — local, national and international — reaching out to us and offering to support us however they can — whether that’s making scrubs, or swabs, or ventilators, or even helping us build and equip a field hospital in a matter of weeks. We have academic institutions and health foundations wanting to contribute to our efforts, and we have all levels of government as reliable partners in our response efforts.

We are not alone. If you ever feel it’s you against COVID-19, we have your back — and please remember there are millions of Albertans who are there for you, too.

Author: Village of Warburg

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