Alberta sees record number of people in intensive care beds: health officials

Alberta's ICU's are treating more people that ever before. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, says the areas with the greatest COVID-19 spread are outside major cities.

EDMONTON — The head of Alberta Health Services says hospital staff are treating more people in intensive care units than at any other time in the province's history.

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and chief executive officer of Alberta Health Services, says more than 240 patients are in ICUs, including 186 with COVID-19.

Yiu says capacity would have been surpassed had the province not opened an additional 106 ICU beds on top of its pre-pandemic capacity of about 170.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, says most of the areas with the highest active case rates are not in cities.

Both health officials joined Premier Jason Kenney at a COVID-19 news conference during which they noted northern Alberta, particularly the Fort McMurray area, has had the highest rates since May.

Kenney says overall transmission is going down, but hospitalizations are still a concern.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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