Three Edmonton care facilities had outbreaks for six months or more: 10 longest outbreaks identified

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Residents of 36 of Edmonton’s long-term and supportive care homes hit hard by COVID-19 outbreaks spent at least a quarter of the last year under heightened restrictions — three for more than six months.

A Postmedia analysis of archived website data identified the facilities that spent the longest time on the province’s outbreak list, many with multiple outbreaks spaced out during that time period and hundreds of cases. Being on the Alberta’s outbreak list meant a ban on visitors, increasing isolation and the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for the seniors living there.

The 10 Edmonton care sites listed with outbreak status the longest included three that were six months or longer: Extendicare Eaux Claires for six-and-a-half months or 26 weeks, Good Samaritan Southgate Care Centre for 6.25 months or 25 weeks, and Shepherd’s Care Kensington Village for six months or 24 weeks.

Other care sites on the top 10 list were not far behind.

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Lifestyle Options Terra Losa had the fourth-longest stay on the list at 5.75 months or 23 weeks, followed by three facilities each on outbreak for five-and-a-half months or 22 weeks: Jasper Place Continuing Care Centre, Miller Crossing Care Centre and CapitalCare Norwood and St. Joseph’s, Covenant Health.

Finally, Millwoods Shepherd’s Care was on outbreak for 4.75 months or 19 weeks, with Hardisty Care Centre listed for four-and-a-half months, or 18 weeks.

Long outbreaks not always deadliest, but some were

Edmonton’s longest-running outbreaks didn’t always coincide with the deadliest or those with the highest cases, but sometimes they did.

Good Samaritan Southgate Care Centre, which spent the second longest time on the list, also had the second-deadliest outbreaks of all care facilities in Edmonton Zone.

Overall, there were 230 cases and 50 deaths during the site’s three outbreaks last year, according to data provided by Alberta Health.

The facility was audited multiple times in 2020 and is the subject of a class-action lawsuit. CEO Katherine Chubb told Postmedia in January the audits showed health orders were being followed..

“We have been maintaining higher-than-usual staffing levels for the number of residents we are serving to ensure that our residents are receiving the care they need.”

But Susan Slade, vice-president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, also said at the time outbreak rules weren’t being followed. She said COVID-19 positive patients were being transferred to different parts of the building, and staff rotated between units.

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“Staff are being moved all over the building when they’re not supposed to be,” she said.

Miller Crossing Care Centre, which spent the sixth-longest time under outbreak, was the third-deadliest outbreak in the Edmonton Zone: 47 people died. The facility, operated by Revera, had six outbreaks, the last running from Dec. 6 to March 5, 2021.

“We are working closely with Alberta Health Services officials to maintain pandemic outbreak protocols and infection control practices,” Rhonda Collins, the chief medical officer for Revera, wrote in a letter to residents Feb. 17.

Ten people died in three outbreaks at Extendicare Eaux Claires, which was on the province’s list the longest.

With 19 deaths, Hardisty Care Centre was the eighth-deadliest in the region. Sixteen people died at Lifestyle Options Terra Lossa while 16 perished at Millwoods Shepherd’s Care.

Ownership model irrelevant

Whether a facility was public, private, or a not-for-profit did not appear to factor into whether or not it experienced lengthy outbreaks.

Two longest-running outbreaks were at publicly-owned properties: Capital Care Norwood (Alberta Health Services), and Covenant Health St. Joseph’s.

Four locations were private: Extendicare Eaux Claires, Jasper Place Continuing Care Centre, Miller Crossing Care Centre, and Hardisty Care Centre. The remaining four were either non-profit or not-for-profit.

All sites were accredited, apart from Lifestyle Options Terra Losa.

With files from Dylan Short

lboothby@postmedia.com

@laurby

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