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A hospital in Edmonton is no longer admitting patients owing to a full outbreak of COVID-19, including three deaths.

The outbreak at the Misericordia Community Hospital was earlier declared by Alberta’s Chief Medical Health Officer and restrictions have tightened as case numbers increased.

Alberta Health Services announced Wednesday that 20 patients and 15 staff have tested positive.

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Three other patients have died from the infection.

“I know the public will think that this is difficult news and I want to assure everybody that we’re taking this aggressive step to stop the transmission,” Dr. David Zygun, medical director with AHS Edmonton Zone, told a news conference Wednesday.

“This is an exceptional situation [in] what has been an excellent safety record in managing outbreaks.”

He said it was necessary to declare a full outbreak to protect remaining patients and staff.

The 312-bed hospital, which is run by Catholic health provider Covenant Health, is not allowing visitors except in end-of-life situations and is postponing day procedures. Its emergency department is also closed.

Alberta Health Services said people who were to come in for health services are being contacted and will be cared for at another city hospital.

Current patients who have tested positive are being treated at two units in the Misericordia.

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Dr. Zygun added that the hospital has enough supplies and staff to deal with the outbreak and continue to treat those patients who are there.

He said officials have reinforced with all 2,700 workers and physicians that it’s important to make sure each day that they’re fit for work, use appropriate personal protective equipment, wear masks and wash their hands.

On Monday, the province announced 46 new infections across Alberta, for a total of 8,482 cases. So far, 7,716 people have recovered and 158 have died.

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.

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