ICU Capacity Shrinking Rapidly Across Province, 197 Active COVID-19 Cases In RMWB

The province’s ICU capacity continues to shrink.

That’s according to Dr. Verna Yiu, President and CEO of Alberta Health Services, who spoke to reporters on Thursday about reducing pressure on hospitals.

Right now, 87 per cent of beds, more than 230, are being used with 70 per cent of these individuals having COVID-19.

Just under 90 per cent of Albertans who have tested positive and are being treated are unvaccinated.

Dr. Yiu says they’ve added nearly 100 surge beds to help with capacity. If this didn’t happen, ICU capacity would be around 130 per cent.

Currently, all seven ICU beds at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre are being used. Capacity across the north zone is at 100 per cent.

Meanwhile, the province is providing up to $36 million to improve wages and create additional workforce capacity to allow more Albertans to receive care outside of hospitals.

Around $22 million of this funding will be allocated over the next two years to provide wage increases for contracted home care agency employees. They’re hoping this will help retain current and recruit additional staff.

The other $14 million is being provided to expand workforce capacity for support home care and continuing care facilities on a short-term basis until March 31, 2022.

The GoA claims around 400 Albertans are currently waiting in hospitals to move into continuing care facilities. These beds could potentially be used to help with the rise in hospitalizations.

Daily COVID Update

Fort McMurray’s active total of COVID-19 cases is slight rise.

The province announced on Thursday 1,510 new cases over the past 24-hours.

There are currently 15,977 active cases across Alberta, while there have been a total of 264,564 positive tests.

There are also 679 Albertans in the hospital for the virus, 154 of which are in ICUs.

Locally, Fort McMurray added 14 new cases and 12 recoveries in the past 24 hours which raises the active total to 180.

The rural areas added two new cases and no recoveries, with the total of active cases now sitting at 17.

In total, 7,167 individuals across the RMWB – 6,810 in Fort McMurray and 357 in the rural areas – have recovered.

They are among the 246,153 who’ve recovered across the province. This represents over 93 per cent of reported cases.

There was also nine new deaths from COVID-19 in Alberta over the past 24 hours – raising the total to 2,434.

To date, 18 individuals in Fort McMurray and one in the rural areas have died as a result of the virus.

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