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UPDATED: Man in his 90s dies as part of COVID-19 outbreak at Origin at Spring Creek

According to Alberta Health, there have been four cases linked to the outbreak at the facility of approximately 120 residents. Of these, one is active, two have recovered and sadly there has been one death.

CANMORE – Canmore has recorded its second death from the COVID-19 virus – this time a senior resident of Origin at Spring Creek where an outbreak had been declared earlier in January.

According to Alberta Health, there have been four cases linked to the outbreak at the facility of approximately 120 residents. Of these, one is active, two have recovered and sadly there has been one death.

“(On Jan. 11), among the deaths reported was a death involving a male in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Origin at Spring Creek in Calgary Zone,” said Tom McMillan, assistant director of communications for Alberta Health.

Origin officials say they are working closely with Alberta Health to prevent further spread.

“We are in an outbreak situation,” said Cindy Drury, general manager of Origin at Spring Creek.

“We’re doing all the appropriate measures … obviously we want to keep everybody safe and we’re doing everything we absolutely can.”

Origin at Spring Creek, a community retirement facility, provides seniors with rental and home ownership opportunities for independent and assisted living.

“AHS has recommended enhanced cleaning and enhanced infection and prevention controls to the facility,” said James Wood, director of media relations with AHS, in an email.

Drury said Origin has been following all provincial regulations for a congregate facility, noting residents are physically-distancing and wearing masks.

“They are not going to family members’ homes, and during an outbreak, we are not having any sort of social activities,” she said.

“We’re pretty much watching everything we do every single day and we’re staying safe.”

With COVID-19 vaccinations in the Bow Valley having started last week, Drury said vaccinations at Origin are expected to begin soon.

“We’re in the queue. We’re just waiting or our date here,” she said.

As of Tuesday (Jan. 12), there were 14 active COVID-19 cases in Canmore and 15 in Banff and Lake Louise.

On Tuesday, the Alberta government reported 652 new COVID-19 cases province-wide, bringing the number of active cases province-wide to 13,220. There are 819 people in hospital, including 132 in intensive care. 

In the last 24 hours, there were 38 additional COVID-related deaths reported: one on Dec. 30, one on Jan. 1, one on Jan. 2, two on Jan. 6, one on Jan. 7, three on Jan. 8, seven on Jan. 9, 18 on Jan. 10, three on Jan. 11, and one on Jan. 12.

In her Tuesday afternoon briefing, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, sent her deepest condolences to the family and friends of those individuals.

“We must always remember that these figures are not just numbers, but lives,” Hinshaw said.

“Every death involved somebody who was loved…  my thoughts go to everyone who is mourning loss a loved one from any cause.”

As of Tuesday, there are currently 1,092 active and 6,702 recovered cases at long-term care facilities and supportive/home living sites. To date, 888 of the 1,345 reported deaths – 66 per cent – have been in long-term care facilities or supportive/home living sites

In this region, Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and Lake Louise Ski Resort experienced outbreaks at the end of 2020. There was also an outbreak at Nakiska Ski Resort.

Outbreaks are declared over when four weeks have passed since the last case was identified.

Canmore recorded its first death in October, 2020. At the time, AHS did not release any details due to the size of the community, citing privacy concerns.

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