Misericordia Community Hospital begins phased reopening

August 14, 2020

Emergency Department and Labour and Delivery services open to walk-in patients

EDMONTON – The Misericordia Community Hospital will resume Emergency Department (ED) and labour and delivery services this afternoon and begin a phased reopening of scheduled ambulatory appointments and surgical procedures.

The Misericordia was temporarily closed to incoming patients, including the ED, on July 8 as part of Alberta Health Services’ COVID-19 response to the site’s full facility outbreak. Existing patients within the hospital continued to receive the treatment, care and support they required, while labouring mothers and patients with scheduled day procedures were rebooked or cared for at other Edmonton Zone hospitals.

Since July 17, 2020, there have been no new COVID-19 cases linked to the Misericordia’s outbreak. As of August 14, 2020 the Misericordia outbreak is now considered over and site restrictions have been lifted.

“Early in the outbreak at the Misericordia, we took significant measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of patients, staff, physicians, and volunteers,” says Dr. David Zygun, Medical Director, AHS Edmonton Zone.

“With an abundance of caution, and nearly a month without a new case linked to the initial outbreak, we are confident the site is ready to begin accepting incoming patients to a safe environment of care.”

AHS and Covenant Health are grateful to EMS as well as staff and physicians at healthcare facilities, hospitals and in the community throughout the Edmonton Zone who worked tirelessly to accommodate an increase in patient flow due to the temporary closure of the Misericordia.

“The ability of our teams to adapt to the closure of a hospital in the Edmonton Zone is a testament to the depth of our capacity to care for Albertans during a pandemic,” says Dr. Zygun. “The hard work and vigilance of our staff and physicians across the system have kept hospital transmission rates low and the environment safe for patients.”

Medicine and other hospital inpatient units including the neonatal intensive care unit that continued to care for patients at the Misericordia during the temporary closure will also begin accepting incoming patients. Patients with postponed or upcoming appointments and surgeries will be contacted to reschedule appointments and procedures.

Covenant Health and Alberta Health Services want to assure Albertans that the facility is safe for new admissions.

“Our focus continues to be on the safety of our patients, staff, physicians and visitors in the facility,” said Owen Heisler, Chief Medical Officer, Covenant Health. “We are extremely grateful for our hard-working and dedicated physicians and staff who cared for patients and each other during the outbreak, both at the Misericordia or through redeployment throughout the zone.”

AHS and Covenant would like to express gratitude to patients and families for their support and patience throughout this temporary service suspension.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

Covenant Health is one of Canada's largest Catholic healthcare organizations with over 15,000 physicians, employees and volunteers serving in 12 communities across Alberta. A major provider in Alberta's integrated health system, Covenant Health works with Alberta Health Services and community partners to positively influence the health of Albertans through a broad range of programs and services. For more information visit CovenantHealth.ca.

For media inquiries, contact:

Marni Kuhlmann
AHS Communications

Karen Diaper
Covenant Health Communications