Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, along with officials from Alberta Health Services, will provide an update on the E. coli outbreak in Calgary on Friday.
This comes after an E. coli outbreak at several Calgary daycares, which has led to hundreds of laboratory-confirmed E. coli cases and some children in hospital and on dialysis.
Smith, Minister of Health Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Children and Family Services Searle Turton, Dr. Mark Joffe, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Franco Rizzutti, medical officer of health in the Calgary Zone with AHS, and Dr. Tania Principi, section chief of pediatric emergency medicine at Alberta Children’s Hospital, are scheduled to speak.
That press conference is scheduled to begin at 9:30 am. Watch that conference live here.
In her first interview about an E. coli outbreak at Calgary daycares that spread to more than 300 children, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said she has ordered her government to come up with a proposal to help families financially. affected.
Since the outbreak was declared on September 4, prompting the closure of 11 daycare centers and the common kitchen where the outbreak is believed to have originated, there have been 329 laboratory-confirmed cases, almost all of them children. At least 20 have been seriously ill with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), although some have since recovered, and six are currently on dialysis.
Speaking with host Kathleen Petty on CBC West of center In Thursday’s podcast, the Prime Minister hinted at measures her government would take to help parents and find out how the outbreak occurred.
Smith was asked if the government was considering compensation, as many people had to miss work to care for children or paid for childcare during the month of September and then shelled out more money to make alternative arrangements.
“That is the direction I have given to the ministry: present a proposal [Friday] and so we will have a whole series of things that we will propose,” Smith said.
“There are some families that just don’t feel comfortable returning their loved ones to these facilities, so we have to find another option for them.”
Smith is scheduled to hold a news conference on the issue Friday morning, where he is expected to provide more details about financial assistance and the possibility of new regulations for shared kitchens and food safety.
His comments came a day after several parents who have children attending affected daycares sent an open letter to the prime minister, addressing Smith’s lack of public comments in the 10 days since the outbreak was declared and asking about government support.
Until Tuesday, all communications about the outbreak came through Alberta Health Services. That day, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Mark Joffe, and Health Minister Adriana LaGrange took to the podium to answer questions and discuss the outbreak. Alberta Health Services said main health problemsincluding cockroach infestations, unsafe food handling and previous violations, were found in the common kitchen where the outbreak is believed to have originated.
“As a politician, you don’t want to interfere when doctors are the ones who need to respond,” Smith told the CBC show. West of center in response to a question about the letter.
“We had doctors come in last week to let people know what was happening, making sure all parents knew what to expect.”
Public inquiry not ruled out, says Smith
Smith said he is not ruling out anything, including a public inquiry, when it comes to finding out exactly how the outbreak occurred and the emergency developed.
“Whatever form it takes,” he said.
“I mean, we have to come up with the answers so we can implement the regulatory changes. Absolutely.”
In a statement sent Tuesday, the Alberta NDP demanded a full investigation into the outbreak, saying affected families deserve answers and accountability.
“The government must focus on providing high-quality health care to impacted Albertans during this crisis while also providing real answers about how we got here,” Diana Batten, Alberta NDP critic for child care and services for children and families. .
Cases increase, hospitalization numbers decrease
In its daily update on the E. coli outbreak Thursday morning, Alberta Health Services said that for the second day in a row, the number of children hospitalized with serious illnesses had decreased.
The number of laboratory-confirmed cases linked to the outbreak has continued to rise, up to 329.
However, as of Thursday morning there were 13 patients receiving care at the hospital, all of them children. Eight children had been discharged since Wednesday and were now recovering at home, AHS said.
In total, 20 patients have been discharged from hospital since the start of the outbreak, including 19 children and one adult.
There were still 11 confirmed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) patients, six of whom were on dialysis.
Eight patients had recovered from HUS since Wednesday and one patient no longer required dialysis, AHS said.
“While the number of cases continues to increase as laboratory test results come in, the number of hospitalized patients is decreasing,” AHS said in its statement.
“Patients with more severe illness are in stable condition and responding to treatment. Our frontline healthcare teams continue to provide them with the best possible care and support.”
AHS said there were 22 secondary transmissions, all within households linked to the outbreak.
The centralized kitchen that supplied food to the affected daycare centers will remain closed until further notice.