More than 50 cases of COVID-19 connected to Calgary condo building

More than 50 cases of COVID-19 connected to Calgary condo building
CALGARY -- Officials in charge of a Calgary condo building at the centre of the city s largest coronavirus outbreak have sent out a list of recommendations to owners of units who rent their suites to others.

FirstService Residential, the company that oversees the Verve building on Sixth Avenue S.E., issued a letter to residents of the building Thursday.

The message outlined a number of recommendations for owners of units who were using the suites as rental properties on a long-term basis.

The advice included:

As of Thursday, the province confirmed 29 active cases of COVID-19 at the building. With 23 people already recovered from their symptoms, there have been more than 50 cases of the illness connected to the outbreak.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) remain at the building to test all potential renters. They are also continuing to take steps to control the virus spread.

The agency believes high-touch areas, particularly in regards to the building s elevators, had a lot to do with how many people got sick.

"Because this situation is a bit more unusual, we ve taken some additional steps including doing some environment sampling, looking at the HVAC system, looking at the plumbing system to look for more exotic causes of biotransmission," said Dr. Jia Hu, medical officer of health for the Calgary zone.

Hu said all 400 of the residents at the building need to be tested in order for them to complete their work.

Earlier this week, FirstService banned all services that offer short-term rentals of units, such as Airbnb, because of the outbreak. AHS says all recent guests of any short-term rental at the building have been told to seek testing in their home jurisdiction.

It also increased cleaning and sanitization at the building and blocked all visitors from going there.

"We need resident help and cooperation to ensure everyones health and safety," the letter read. "Thank you in advance for your cooperation."
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