AHS confirms Ponoka Hospital staff case

AHS confirms Ponoka Hospital staff case

Lab worker tests positive with low risk of transmission to others

One of the recent COVID-19 cases reported in Ponoka has been confirmed to be a staff member of the Ponoka Hospital.

In an emailed statement to Ponoka News on July 15, Alberta Health Services (AHS) confirmed that a Alberta Precision Laboratory (APL) staff member at the hospital tested positive.

“This is a single case and is not considered an outbreak. Proper personal protective equipment was in place, and any risk of exposure to others is considered low,” stated the email.

The statement added that several other staff are presently self-isolating as a precaution and that extensive contract tracing is currently being done.

“Anyone who has been in contact with this case will be contacted directly. If you are not contacted, you are not considered to have been exposed,” said the statement.

“We understand people may feel anxious to visit the hospital and want to remind residents that our hospitals and emergency departments, and all services provided within our facilities, remain a safe place to come and to receive care – there is no increased risk to patients coming to the hospital.”

As a reminder to the public, all Albertans are eligible for COVID-19 testing, whether experiencing symptoms, or not. Expanded testing is an important part of the effort to contain COVID-19 in our province.

Testing will tell you whether you had COVID-19 at the time your swab was taken, even if you were not showing symptoms at that time. Testing will not tell you whether you have previously had COVID-19. It will also not tell you whether you have any immunity to COVID-19.

Testing is free and by appointment, but can be easily booked online at www.ahs.ca/covid.

As for lab services, the public can continue to book appointments rather that dropping in, as it allows for better control on the number of people in the waiting room for physical distancing and to better manage wait times.

For an appointment, either call 1-833-572-0577 or visit www.aplappointments.ca.