(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

COVID
Red Deer down to 313 active cases of COVID-19

Alberta reports an additional 411 COVID-19 cases

Pictured here is Stettler’s Jenner Smith with a guide dog from Aspen Service Dogs. An online auction will be running soon to help raise funds for Jenner to receive his very own service dog later this year. Jenner, who is four years old, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2019. photo submitted
An online auction is planned to raise funds for a service dog for a Stettler family

Jenner Smith, four, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2019

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
Economists “cautiously hopeful” for economic recovery in Alberta

Charles St. Arnaud says Alberta’s recovery will rebound along with roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw acknowledged that Friday would be one year since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in the province. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three more Red Deer COVID-19 deaths, 331 active cases in Alberta

Red Deer is down to 362 active cases of the virus

Caitlin Kraft, the sister of Jeffery Kraft, stands third from the left, holding a sign calling for the maximum sentence for Campbell, who is charged with manslaughter. (Photo by Paul Cowley)
UPDATED: Judge again rejects submission of 7-year sentence for slaying of Kraft

Tyler John Campbell charged with second-degree murder for December 2019 homicide

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

A decommissioned pumpjack is shown at a well head on an oil and gas installation near Cremona, Alta., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. The Alberta Energy Regulator says it is suspending all of the licences held by an oil and gas producer with more than 2,200 wells and 2,100 pipelines after it failed to bring its operations into compliance. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta Energy Regulator suspends licences of oil and gas producer that owes $67M

The company is being asked to comply with past orders to clean up historic spills and contamination

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Seniors in the 65-unit Piper Creek Lodge are among those waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Central Alberta senior lodges anxiously waiting for COVID-19 vaccinations

“Should be at the front of the line, not the back of the line”

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of its Janssen subsidiary’s COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Johnson & Johnson via AP
Canada approves Johnson & Johnson’s 1-shot COVID-19 vaccine

It is the 4th vaccine approved in Canada and the 1st that requires just a single dose

Most Read