Alberta offers COVID-19 ICU support to Manitoba amid province’s 3rd wave

As Manitoba is grappling with its third wave of COVID-19 infections, Alberta has stepped in to offer help with ICU care.

Up to 10 patients requiring intensive care will come to Alberta, the province announced Wednesday.

“Alberta is proud to support our fellow Canadians during this time of need,” Health Minister Tyler Shandro said in a news release. “With our hospitalizations falling in line with the recent trend in cases, we have available capacity to help our neighbours.”

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As of Tuesday, Alberta had 438 people in hospital with COVID-19, with 127 of those people receiving care in the ICU.

Read more: ‘This has changed us’: Manitoba healthcare workers exhausted as third wave battle continues

Alberta is not the first province to provide assistance to Manitoba during its third wave. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 37 Manitobans being treated out of province — 36 in Ontario and one in Saskatchewan. Since May 18, 43 Manitobans have received ICU care outside the province.

“The staff and physicians in our hospitals and across our health system have worked hard to meet the needs of patients throughout the pandemic,” Shandro said. “I know they are tired, but I also know how deeply committed they are to caring for patients, and I know they will come through again.”

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The patients being transferred to Alberta will be in hospitals in either Edmonton or Calgary and Alberta Health Services says the province currently has sufficient ICU capacity to ensure Albertans are cared for.

“Albertans will always be our priority,” Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO, Alberta Health Services said. “We are fortunate to have such strong critical care teams in Alberta to be able to assist and support during this unprecedented time.

“Our teams will do their best to care for Manitobans.”

Read more: COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to drop in Alberta but R value rises slightly

At its peak about three weeks ago, Alberta had 127 people being treated for COVID-19 in the ICU.

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