Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and health officials provided a COVID-19 update this afternoon.
Kenney, along with chief medical health officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Alberta Health Services CEO Dr. Verna Yiu, spoke to the media at 1:00 p.m.
“I saw a message recently that read, it shouldn’t have to happen to you for it to matter to you,” Premier Kenney said. “Well fellow Albertans, this is where we find ourselves today. I know we’d all hoped that we would be out of this by now, but we are still in the midst of a third wave.”
Kenney says, “Thankfully, our case numbers have stabilized and our transmission is slowing down, but we still have a ways to go yet.”
The Premier says this isn’t unique to Alberta, all of Canada and much of the world has seen a surge, driven by variants.
“I know there are still naysayers and skeptics out there, people who don’t believe COVID-19 is a threat or who think that we never should have had any public health restrictions, to begin with,” Premier Kenney said. “Some say the case numbers are inflated or exaggerated that stretched hospital capacity, they say is some kind of a myth. But as we’ve seen here at home and around the world. COVID-19 is a very real situation that we’re all facing together. And I’ve always believed that when presented with the facts, people overwhelmingly will do the right thing to protect themselves and their fellow Albertans, especially the most vulnerable.”
Kenney said today’s conference was to present the facts about COVID-19 in our province right now, and how it’s affecting our hospital capacity.
There are more than 22,000 active cases in the province now the Premier says and our positivity rate in Alberta is sitting at 9.6 percent. Kenney says there are 647 Albertans in hospitals with COVID-19 right now.
“Of those that are in hospital 186 of them are in intensive care,” Premier Kenney said. “These 186 Albertans are critically ill with COVID-19, and that’s a record high for the pandemic in Alberta.”
The Premier says many of these are people are sedated, because they’re on respirators, unable to breathe on their own, and cannot have any human contact except through layers of PPE.
“Of course, throughout this whole time Albertans have continued to suffer strokes and heart attacks, serious accidents, and sudden health issues that also require admittance to intensive care,” Premier Kenney said. “Currently, added to the 186 COVID patients in the ICU, are about 55 more people who are in ICU is non-COVID-19 reasons, but who are also fighting for their lives. So that’s a total of 241 people in intensive care when normally, our health care system is set up to care for about 170 people in ICU. So we’re about over 40 per cent above our normal maximum capacity, and our pre COVID record high for ICU admissions.”