EDMONTON, AB – Alberta’s COVID-19 crisis is getting worse and now the provincial government is asking the feds for help.
As of Tuesday’s update, there are 996 people in Alberta hospitals with COVID, the most at any point since the pandemic was declared in March 2020. Intensive Care patients suffering from the virus is now at 222.
The province also reported 29 additional COVID deaths since Monday.
Earlier in the day, Alberta Transportation Minister Ric McIver fired off a letter to Bill Blair, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
He states the UCP government has identified two areas in which Alberta could use Ottawa’s assistance.
One is a provision for aero-medical evacuation capability (medi-vac) and the other is augmentation of critical health care staff. McIver says federal help in these two areas would likely create significant relief to our provincial health care system.
New Health Minister Talks COVID
Alberta’s new man in charge of the health portfolio made it clear Tuesday he is focusing on three key areas as the province shifts to managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“First, increasing our baseline hospital capacity permanently. Second, educating vaccine-hesitant Albertans to get immunized, and third, preparing our health system to more adequately respond to potential future waves of COVID-19,” says Jason Copping.
Vaccine Uptake Increasing
COVID-19 vaccine uptake here in Alberta jumped considerably once the provincial government announced a vaccine passport.
Premier Jason Kenney says the Restrictions Exemption Program, as it’s officially known as, has resulted in many more Albertans rolling up their sleeves.
He notes since the program was announced over 78,000 first dose appointments were booked.
COVID Cases Rising Locally
More people have tested positive for COVID across AHS South Zone. On Tuesday, the zone confirmed 232 news cases. A total of 67 of those in Lethbridge and another 76 in Medicine Hat.