Military begins work at Edmonton hospital as Alberta battles fourth COVID-19 wave

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Canadian military nurses will begin work at Edmonton Hospital to relieve pressure on a critical care unit overburdened with COVID-19 patients.

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The Canadian Armed Forces say eight critical care nursing officers from Ontario and Nova Scotia are to begin shifts at the Royal Alexandra Hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

Alberta requested aid from the military last month as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and intensive care increased.


Military aid is due by the end of October.

new Measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Alberta It also went into effect on Wednesday, including a reduction in outdoor gathering limits from 200 to 20 people and the resumption of public reporting of schools with at least two known infections.

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Additionally, Albertans 75 and older and First Nations, Inuit and Métis 65 and older can now book a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Tuesday afternoon, Alberta Health said there were 19,456 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 663 new cases of the disease identified in the past 24 hours after nearly 8,000 tests were conducted.

There were 1,094 Albertans with COVID-19 in the hospital, of whom 252 were being treated in the ICU. Alberta recorded 26 more COVID-19 deaths.

Alberta has a baseline of 173 ICU beds, but hundreds more have been added in recent weeks.

Alberta Health Services said Tuesday that the province has 374 ICU beds, with 307 beds being used. The AHS said the “vast majority” of ICU admissions are people with COVID-19.

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ICU capacity at the provincial level is 82 per cent. Without the 201 surge ICU beds, Alberta’s ICU capacity would be 177 percent.

— With files from Emily Mertz, Granthshala News

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