Alberta reported 1,315 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, a nearly four-month high, as hospitalizations continue to spike.
The last time the province saw new case numbers above 1,300 was on May 13, when 1,468 cases were reported.
As of Sept. 2 there were 54 active cases reported in the County of Vermilion River, 56 in the M.D. of Wainwright, six in the County of Two Hills, and 16 in the County of Minburn.
Across the province there are 465 people hospitalized with the virus. Of those, 107 are in intensive care units, an increase of one. Hospitalizations and ICU numbers have nearly doubled compared to one week ago. On Aug. 25, there were 284 people hospitalized with COVID-19 while 59 people were in intensive care units.
On Tuesday, Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO of Alberta Health Services, said there continues to be “significant capacity challenges” at many hospitals and health-care sites. This has meant making difficult decisions to ensure capacity and enough frontline staff are available to support patients.
“This week we’ve reduced the number of non-urgent surgeries being performed in Edmonton and in Grande Prairie, which enables us to free up both bed space and frontline staff to support high priority areas,” she said.
“We’ve also had to temporarily reduce bed numbers in some rural and urban health-care facilities, due in large part to difficulties in finding available physicians and staff.”
She said while similar steps have been taken in previous waves, the fourth wave is exacerbated by staffing challenges.
“We do have the ability to open additional ICU and acute care beds, and we are doing that as quickly as we can,” Yiu said.