Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw encouraged pregnant Albertans to get vaccinated as soon as possible on Thursday. (Photo by Chris Schwartz/Alberta Government)

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw encouraged pregnant Albertans to get vaccinated as soon as possible on Thursday. (Photo by Chris Schwartz/Alberta Government)

Red Deer reports another COVID-19 death, 22 patients in hospital ICU

There are 787 active viral cases in the city

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer began heading down again on Thursday, to 787 from a former 825 on Tuesday.

But one more local death was reported, according to the provincial government’s website. Red Deer has now seen 68 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. This city has also recorded a total of 7,501 recovered cases to date.

And 22 COVID patients were taking up 26 intensive care beds at Red Deer Regional Hospital on Thursday. There are now 26 ICU beds in total at the facility as 14 extra beds were added by Alberta Health Services to the hospital’s previous 12-beds intensive care department.

According to AHS, Red Deer hospital’s ICU is operating at 88 per cent of current capacity (this takes into consideration some non-COVID patients who are also in ICU.)

Alberta Health Services “continues to do all it can to ensure we have enough ICU capacity to meet patient demand, including opening additional spaces and redeploying staff.”

Whether central Alberta’s COVID cases have peaked has not yet been determined. But as of 10 a.m. Thursday morning, 66 COVID-positive patients were being cared for at Red Deer hospital — including those in ICU.

While the president of the Canadian Medical Association raised concerns about whether adequate staffing can be found to staff extra beds that are being opened for COVID-19 emergencies, AHS responded that beds could not be added if enough trained medical staff were not available to look after patients.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health for Alberta, tweeted that pregnant women who get infected with COVID-19 are at higher risk of getting very sick, being admitted to hospital and developing complications that require ICU care.

She stated Thursday, “We urge you to get immunized as soon as possible to protect you and your baby.”

The Government of Alberta identified 1,254 new COVID-19 cases in the province on Thursday.

There are now 18,411 active cases of the virus in Alberta, to go along with the 285,794 recovered cases.

The province’s death toll has risen to 2,814, which is an increase of 10 COVID fatalities from Wednesday. This includes two new deaths in Central zone. To date 289 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in local zone.

Provincially, there are 1,094 people hospitalized with COVID-19, with 248 of those individuals in intensive care.The Central zone has 3,758 active cases, 213 hospitalizations, including 23 ICU admissions.

Red Deer County has 279 active cases, Clearwater County has 299, Lacombe County has 262, the City of Lacombe has 201, Stettler County has 114, Mountain View County has 138, Sylvan Lake has 99 and Olds has 69.

Wetaskiwin County, including Maskwacis, has 282 active cases, while Rimbey, including West Ponoka County and parts of Lacombe County, has 107 and Ponoka, including East Ponoka County, has 129.

Kneehill County has 131 active cases, the City of Camrose has 100, Camrose County has 74 and Drumheller has 41.

Alberta’s vaccination rate for those eligible who have received a double dose is 75.4 per cent, while 84.8 per cent have received at least one.

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