Days after more than 30 deaths from COVID-19 were reported in Alberta for the first time in more than nine months, Airdrie is reporting 307 active cases of COVID-19.
Premier Jason Kenney held a press conference on Sept. 30 to discuss help Alberta will receive from the federal government and Newfoundland and Labrador as Alberta's health system continues to be put under "enormous pressure" thanks to a surge in recent hospitalizations related to the virus.
"We are continuing to see growth in under-vaccinated rural areas, and of course the pressure on our hospitals is severe," he said. "We are operating at 83 per cent of our intensive care capacity."
Kenney said now that Alberta is experiencing the "most intense pressure" the province has seen thus far during the pandemic, he is appreciative of reciprocal offers from other provinces, as well as the Canadian military.
"I can announce that we are finalizing arrangements to welcome a team of medical personnel from the Canadian Armed Forces," he said. "We understand they may be able to provide eight to 10 ICU-trained staff, which would help us to staff up to two additional ICU beds."
The additional military aid will likely land in CFB Edmonton, with up to 20 trained staff from the Canadian Red Cross, who Kenney said will likely be deployed to the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.
"We are also completing plans with Newfoundland and Labrador to welcome a medical team which we expect will include five or six ICU-experienced staff who will likely be deployed to the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre in Fort McMurray," Kenney added.
According to Kenney, the additional help from the East Coast is set to staff four or five additional ICU beds, and provide other support as necessary.
According to airdrie.ca, there have been a total of 4,782 cases locally since the pandemic began. Of those cases, 4,455 residents have recovered and 20 deaths have been reported.
Regarding vaccinations, 83.7 per cent of Airdrie's eligible population have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to stats posted daily on Airdrie.ca, with 74.5 per cent of eligible residents being fully vaccinated.
Provincially, 83.4 per cent of the eligible population have received one dose of a vaccine, while 74.2 per cent are fully vaccinated. More than 6,067,000 doses of vaccine have been administered in Alberta, as of Sept. 29.
In Alberta, 1,706 new cases were reported on Sept. 29, as well as 34 deaths from the virus – the highest daily total of deaths since early January. According to a report from the CBC, the deaths ranged in age from people in their 40s to their 90s. The public broadcaster's report indicated Albertans are currently dying from COVID-19 at more than three times the average Canadian rate.
The province is reporting 20,255 active cases, with 1,083 COVID-19 patients in hospital and 263 receiving care in ICU. Of the 820 non-ICU patients, 74.3 per cent are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, according to a tweet from Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw. Of the 263 patients in ICU, Hinshaw said 90.9 per cent are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
Since the pandemic first arrived in Alberta, there have been a total of 298,172 cases of the virus with 275,200 recoveries. Provincial numbers indicate 2,717 deaths have been reported to date.