Alberta’s chief medical officer of health will be joined by Premier Jason Kenney on Tuesday evening to provide an update on COVID-19 in the province.
His news conference is scheduled for 5 pm and will be streamed live in this article post.
Alberta’s infrastructure minister said Tuesday that the province has officially asked Ottawa for help with the COVID-19 crisis.
Rick McIver shared on Twitter, “As part of our ongoing efforts to boost health care capacity during a public health emergency, we have formally asked the federal government to assist us with patient transfers and critical care staff. asked for.”
In his September 21 letter to Federal Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair, MacIver wrote: “We are preparing a contingency plan, which includes the possibility of transferring patients to other jurisdictions with additional capacity.”
The letter identified two ways the federal government can help:
- Provide air-medical evacuation capabilities, including skilled transfer personnel, where possible, to transfer patients outside of Alberta;
- Increase in AHS of critical care staff, especially registered nurses and respiratory therapists in intensive care units.
McIver requested an urgent meeting to discuss the requests.
In response to MacIver on Twitter, Blair said: “Federal officials have been engaging their counterparts in Alberta for the past week to offer help.
“I have made it clear that when a request is received, it will be accepted. We will work together to provide people throughout Alberta.”
On Tuesday afternoon, MacIver tweeted An explanation of why the government did not send the letter to the federal government until after the election.
“I didn’t know who would win the election, so didn’t know which minister (i.e. government) would be in charge today. So, today, the letter is out,” he tweeted.
MacIver’s tweet, however, did not mention that the Trudeau government would remain in place until a new government was sworn in.
The opposition says the timing of the UCP’s request is political.
NDP health critic David Shepherd said in a statement, “Alberta’s front-line health care workers are in need of all the help they can get because they have failed to work for months due to the UCP’s failure. This crisis has escalated.”
“I hope the federal government is able to provide resources to provide some relief from this excruciating pressure.
“The Albertans should be amazed that Rick McIver waited until after the federal election to make this call to Ottawa.
“Once again, UCP is focused on politics rather than the terrible price Albertans are paying right now, with record ICU admissions and thousands of life-saving surgeries canceled.”
Kenny / Dr. Dinah Hinshaw news conference will take place at 3:30 p.m. before the announcement of cabinet changes
Multiple sources have confirmed to Granthshala News that Jason Kopping will be named the new health minister by Kenny this afternoon, replacing Tyler Shandro.
Copping is a legislator from the University of Calgary and is currently the Minister of Labor and Immigration.
Shandro and Kenny are facing sharp criticism for their handling of the COVID-19 crisis, which has pushed the provincial health care system to the brink of collapse.
COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been rising for weeks, leading to the cancellation of massive surgeries and telling doctors how to decide, if necessary, who gets life-saving support And who doesn’t?
Kenny is also facing internal backlash from his party rank and file and caucus members over his handling of the pandemic.
Alberta’s chief medical officer of health has said the current spike was ignited when Kenny lifted nearly all COVID-19 health restrictions on July 1 faster than any other province.
record high ICU cases
An AHS spokesman told Granthshala News on Tuesday that the province has the highest number of ICU patients since the pandemic began.
“There are currently 294 patients in the ICU, most of whom are COVID positive,” said Kerry Williamson.
“AHS is doing everything possible to ensure that we have adequate ICU capacity,” he said. “AHS has opened 35 additional ICU surge spaces in the past seven days.”
AHS has added a total of 162 surge spaces, increasing Alberta’s ICU capacity to 335.
Provincially, ICU capacity (including additional surge beds) is 88 percent.
“Without the additional surge space, provincial ICU capacity would be 170 percent,” Williamson said.
“In the last seven days, there has been a nine percent increase in the number of patients in the ICU.”
The AHS said the triage protocol has not been implemented, but health care workers are continuing to be educated on the document and what it means.
“The Critical Care Triage Protocol will only be implemented when all other efforts to create additional capacity have been exhausted.”