Alberta Health Services tweeted Sunday that it is transferring “up to nine patients” out of Grande Prairie’s QEII Hospital to neighbouring health-care centres because too many COVID-19 patients need acute care and ICU spaces.
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“When it is safe and appropriate to do so, AHS will work to transfer these patients back to the QEII,” AHS tweeted.
“Acute care patients at the QEII continue to receive the care they need.”
The emergency department is still open, but non-urgent cases might be referred to other communities.
AHS said the hospital remains a safe place to receive care, insisting any patient with COVID-19 symptoms will be isolated and treated.
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Both the county and city of Grande Prairie are in the top 11 areas of the province for the highest active case rates.
There are 427 active cases in the city with another 185 in the county, according to Alberta Health data.
In the city, 59.5 per cent of eligible people 12 and older have been immunized with at least one vaccine dose. In the county, that number is 58.5 per cent.
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Braden Manns, associate chief medical officer of AHS, said Friday: “I’m concerned that with now 79 people in the intensive care unit in Alberta and over 250 people outside the intensive care unit in Alberta, that we’re going to start to see the need for increasing service disruptions over the coming weeks.”
AHS said it is thankful for support during this time, adding that “patient safety is of utmost importance to us, and we only make these decisions when absolutely necessary.”
Global News reached out to AHS for further comment but has not heard back.
– With files from Breanna Karstens-Smith
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