“We can look forward to easing restrictions in the fairly near future.”
That came Monday afternoon from Premier Jason Kenney as he provided an update on the current COVID-19 situation in the province. He didn’t give an exact timeline for that, but the premier did say COVID-19 case numbers have been going down quickly all across Alberta and that is great news.
“We are working a clear path to reopen Alberta this summer, tied in part to the rate of vaccinations and to hospitalizations. It’ll be a careful plan that will get us to a great Alberta summer as long as Albertans can continue the huge momentum to get vaccinated.”
Kenney also says the province is expecting COVID-19 hospitalizations to peak within the next week or two.
Kenney is again encouraging all eligible Albertans to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Nearly half of Albertans aged 12 and older have at least one dose as of Monday.
As for that reopening plan, the premier says to “stay tuned in the near future” for that with the government’s emergency management cabinet committee meeting this week and next, adding they’re “very close” to releasing it.
Third Wave Impacting Alberta ICUs
There are some sobering numbers when it comes to Alberta’s current ICU capacity. Health officials reiterated Monday the seriousness of this third wave and what it means for the health care system.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Alberta Health Services Dr. Verna Yiu says as of Sunday, May 16th there were 186 COVID patients in the ICU.
“This is six times higher than the record number of influenza patients needing ICU care in previous years. We currently have more than 240 people in our general systems ICUs across the province. That is easily the most ICU patients that we have ever seen in our health care system and definitely higher than what we’ve seen in waves one and two.”
The province is normally set up for 170 ICU patients in total and right now it is 40 per cent above that.