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Alberta has three to four months worth of PPE, but low on respirators

Last Updated Apr 1, 2020 at 5:53 pm MDT

A healthcare professional adjusts her mask during a demonstration of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) procedures at Toronto Western Hospital on October 17, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) — Alberta has sufficient supplies of Personal Protective Equipment required for frontline workers to battle the COVID-19 pandemic in the province.

Alberta Health Services has a three to four-month supply of PPE equipment but is low on certain protective masks.

“The supply is slightly less for the N95 respirators that are used under specific circumstances,” Dr. Mark Joffe, Vice President and Medical Director for AHS, said at Wednesday’s COVID-19 update.

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Dr. Joffe wanted to reassure frontline staff that they do have the supplies needed to keep them protected and is in the process of sourcing additional equipment if it is needed.

The reason why AHS is so well prepared was partially due to the Pandemic Influenza Plan introduced in the province back in 2014. Part of this program was to stockpile equipment and supplies that would be needed for a health crisis.

Premier Jason Kenney plans to give a presentation at one of the daily briefings about their efforts to increase innovative forms of domestic procurement in Alberta and across Canada.

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“We continue to receive a lot of great offers about producing equipment like masks and also innovative approaches to testing,” the premier said.

On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government is investing $2-billion to buy masks and other personal protective equipment to help frontline workers.

Canada also plans to buy 500 Canadian-made ventilators in the next couple of weeks as the demand continues to climb.