Alberta to open ‘Pandemic Response Units’ as hospitalization peak nears

Alberta will be opening new Pandemic Response Units at a pair of locations in the province.

The new units are being brought in ahead of what provincial officials believe will be a peak in hospitalizations in the coming weeks.

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The Pandemic Response Units will be located in Calgary’s South Health Campus and Edmonton’s Kaye Clinic which are ready to start accepting patients in the coming days.

Alberta Health Services CEO Dr. Verna Yiu says 18 beds will be added at the Pandemic Response Units in Edmonton next week, then 18 again the week of Jan. 31.

For Calgary, 12 beds will be added in the same time period.

“We will only use these beds if we have to, and going forward, additional beds will be opened as needed and as our staff availability allows,” explained Yiu.

“This temporary measure is one of the initiatives that will ensure that our healthcare system can meet the increased demand from COVID-19.”

The PRU’s are temporary extra capacity beds that will be used to free up hospital space. Some surgeries that do not need intensive care unit beds may be postponed.

Major surgeries that require ICU beds will still proceed as scheduled as ICU bed capacity rates aren’t at imminent danger levels.

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