Loading articles...

Case rates have doctors dreading next hospital shifts in Alberta

Last Updated Apr 26, 2021 at 8:59 pm MDT

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — ICU’S buckling under pressure in Ontario, a P.1 variant rapidly spreading in B.C., but the highest rate of active cases in the country isn’t in either province.

It’s in Alberta.

Doctors warning those numbers can translate to the most serious data around deaths, hospitalizations — the kind of numbers no one wants to compete with.

Dr. Gabriel Fabreau is dreading his next rotation at the Peter Lougheed Centre in Calgary, as Alberta surpasses 20,000 active cases.

He fears the harsh reality that admissions lag behind case numbers, and the patients are coming.

READ MORE: Alberta identifies 1,542 new variant cases of COVID-19

“It’s about to get really, really, bad, and it’s frustrating that it didn’t have to be that way. And with the cases still rising we know things will just get really awful very soon.” Fabreau said.

Health Canada data says Ontario has an active case rate of 277 cases per 100,000 people. Alberta is at 455 cases per 100,000. The current rate in B.C., where the P.1. variant is spreading rapidly, is 176 per 100,000.

Dr. Fabreau points to an Ontario Science Table finding, that says shifting vaccines to hotspots will help reduce hospitalizations and deaths.

“The concept is, if you’re at risk and your house is on fire, that’s where we send the firefighters,” he said. “Pop up clinics that are working in Surrey, that are working in Ontario, that are working in Peel, they need to be applied to places like upper northeast Calgary, Millwods in Edmonton, Northeast Edmonton, Fort McMurray.”

Politicians in Fort McMurray declared a local state of emergency for the region during a late-night meeting Sunday.

RELATED: Northern Alberta municipality to declare state of emergency due to COVID-19

And while vaccines don’t offer a quick way out, a recent Angus Reid Institute poll says 28 per cent of Albertans feel unsure or will not get a shot, compared to the 16 per cent national average.

“And even after receiving the first dose it takes about two weeks before you reach a significant degree of immunity, so no matter what happens, we are going to see a lot of hospitalizations, a lot of critically ill folks, a lot more deaths.”