COVID-19 cases rise by 1,265 in Alberta, nine additional deaths

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) – Alberta Health Services (AHS) is reporting 1,265 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday.

There are now 13,719 active cases of the virus province-wide.

The Edmonton zone leads the province in active cases with 6,268, while the Calgary zone has 5,028.

AHS has also confirmed nine additional deaths. One death previously reported had been determined post-mortem, so the person did not have COVID-19 and was removed from the provincial total.

The death toll in Alberta is now at 500.

Three hundred and fifty-five people are presently in the hospital, with 71 admitted to the ICU.

To deal with rising hospitalizations and ICU admission, the province is making available more than 2,000 acute-care beds and up to 400 ICU beds for patients with COVID-19.

“In some cases, these will be new beds,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, said during Tuesday’s briefing.

The extra space will be created by transferring patients out of acute care to continuing care, moving patients to available beds that are opened in parts of the province, repurpose other clinical areas to provide ICU care and reduce additional non-urgent surgeries.

“These steps are being taken to make sure that there is sufficient capacity to meet the health-care needs,” Hinshaw said.

In order to allocate these acute and ICU beds, AHS will also be working with Alberta Health, continuing care operators and other partners to open additional continued care beds in communities, she added.

Temporary changes have also been made for visitor access to AHS acute care sites experiencing outbreaks or are in communities under enhanced status.

The changes are:

  • For hospital patients, one designated family/support person under specific circumstances.
  • For maternity and postpartum units, one designated family/support person. In addition, a doula or surrogate may be permitted.
  • For pediatrics and NICU, including critical care, up to two designated family/support persons.
  • For end-of-life, one designated family/support person; other visitors must be pre-arranged with the site or unit.
  • For ambulatory care including emergency, one designated family/support person where possible.


These are temporary measures and AHS will review this guidance on a regular basis.

“We recognize that these restrictions are very difficult for patients, families, loved ones, staff and physicians, but these temporary measures are being implemented to help reduce exposure and spread of the virus in AHS facilities,” Hinshaw said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 36,582 Albertans have recovered from COVID-19.

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