1,270 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta on Wednesday; Red Cross tent hospital to be set up in Edmonton

EDMONTON — With nearly 750 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, the province has finalized plans for Red Cross Canada to set up an “alternate care centre” or tent hospital at the University of Alberta’s Butterdome.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Wednesday the facility would create 100 more inpatient beds if needed, but that there were no plans to staff the site as of yet.

“This is a purely precautionary measure for use if needed in the future.”

The tent hospital will take several weeks to set up, Hinshaw said.

The province confirmed 1,270 new cases of COVID-19 over some 17,500 tests in 24 hours.

Its positivity rate has dropped to 7.3 per cent, although 749 people remain in hospital with disease. Of those, 139 are receiving intensive care.

Alberta’s top doctor also reported 16 new deaths related to the disease, bringing the total death tally since March to 760.

“It is a sobering statistic that in less than 10 months, more Albertans have died from COVID-19 than have died from influenza in the last 10 years combined.”

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Alberta continues to have the most COVID-19 cases in the country.

As of Wednesday, 20,649 of Canada’s roughly 74,500 cases were located in the western province.

Ontario and Quebec sit in second and third, with about 17,000 and 16,800 cases, respectively.

Two days earlier, Alberta health officials confirmed a record 1,887 new cases over 24 hours, although Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says the province has managed to plateau disease spread.

On Tuesday, minutes after the first Pfizer vaccines were administered in Edmonton and Calgary, the Alberta government announced a new program which would offer self-isolation space and a $625 emergency payment to those ordered to quarantine by Alberta Health.

Seven hundred and forty-four Albertans had died from COVID-19 before the first vaccines were available.

Of 742 people with the disease in hospitals across the province, 137 are in ICUs.

Hinshaw is slated to speak alone on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

Watch her remarks live on CTVNewsEdmonton.ca.

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