200 City of Edmonton employees on leave with COVID-19, including outbreak at Edmonton Fire Department – Edmonton

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As businesses in many industries grapple with staff shortages due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the city of Edmonton has said it is also concerned about the potential impact of the fifth wave on its workforce.

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases among its employees, the city said on Tuesday it was making minor adjustments across all departments so that it could continue to provide priority services.

There have not yet been service disruptions, according to the city, but they will be taken into account if the Omicron cases result in labor shortages.

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As of Tuesday, there were around 200 active cases of COVID-19 among city employees. The city has acknowledged that these numbers are expected to change from day to day.

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The city has specifically reported cases to the Edmonton Fire Department, where about 51 of 1,100 firefighters are currently off work due to COVID-19. This number represents about 4.5 percent of the total number of firefighters in Edmonton.

The city said the EFRS continues to move people and complete shifts to ensure the fire department is properly staffed. EFRS is currently listed on the list of COVID-19 outbreaks in the province.

“Protecting Edmontonians from fires is a vital service to this city,” the city said in a press release.

“The City of Edmonton has a strong continuity process to assess, evaluate and adjust work to provide priority services, such as snow and ice control, transit, recreation centers , waste management services and emergency services, in the event of a disruption.

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The city is reviewing service operations in light of staff shortages. If changes to services are needed, the city said Edmontonians would be notified as soon as possible.

Earlier this week, isolation requirements changed for fully vaccinated Albertans.

As of January 3, fully vaccinated people who test positive for COVID-19 are only required to self-isolate for five days from onset of symptoms – shortened from the previous 10-day isolation period .

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However, if the person’s symptoms do not go away after five days, they should continue to be isolated until they go away.

Once the person is released from isolation, they must continue to wear a mask at all times outside of their home for an additional five days.

Albertans who are not vaccinated should always self-isolate for 10 days.


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Isolation period for COVID-19 cases reduced from 10 days to 5 days for some in Alberta


Isolation period for COVID-19 cases reduced from 10 days to 5 days for some in Alberta

Health Minister Jason Copping announced the change last week to the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, saying it was based on evidence that fully immune people have shorter infectious periods.

Copping said it would prevent disruption to the workforce, especially for those providing important services.

He said discretionary exceptions could be granted to workers whose absence causes “a significant impact on public health.” In those cases, additional health measures would be put in place, Copping said.

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The city of Edmonton said there are currently no essential workers it allows to return to work before their period of isolation is over, even though provincial rules allow it.

“We will reassess this decision if and when it becomes necessary,” the city said.

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Alberta’s isolation period for COVID-19 cases increased from 10 to 5 days

The rate of active COVID-19 cases in Alberta skyrocketed over the weekend. As of Tuesday, there were 34,276 active cases reported in the province, although health officials said the actual number was much higher due to a change in testing protocols.

Albertans who show symptoms are now being asked to have a rapid home antigen test. If the result is positive, they should self-isolate. However, they are not required to report this positive test to Alberta Health.

Edmonton itself had 9,166 active cases reported as of Tuesday afternoon, although, again, health officials said the number of active cases reported was only the “tip of the iceberg.”

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