AHS is constantly monitoring current and future demand on the healthcare system, including the growth in COVID-19 cases.

AHS South Zone currently has 13 COVID-19 positive patients in hospital. Medicine Hat Regional Hospital has six inpatients with two of those in ICU. Chinook Regional Hospital has seven, with three of those in ICU.

The AHS “early warning system” is one tool used to predict hospitalization and ICU numbers, to help us plan for changes in demand. It provides a point in time forecast, and is updated constantly throughout the day.

Monday, it forecast a low (76), medium (113) and high (161) number of ICU spaces needed to meet demand across the province. AHS is already increasing capacity to meet this forecast, and the potential for higher demand due to COVID-19.

In the coming weeks, approximately 2,250 acute care beds, and 425 ICU beds will be allocated for patients with COVID-19 across the province.

This is much higher than the worst-case scenario of 161 required ICU beds forecast by the early warning system tool.

In Edmonton, 20 additional critical care beds have opened in the past two weeks. In Calgary, 10 additional critical care spaces opened on the weekend.

Currently in Lethbridge, we are managing our patient levels with existing beds, while making plans to expand our capacity across the zone as needed.

We are balancing that approach with maintaining as much non COVID-related health care services as possible, such as scheduled surgeries and ambulatory care services.

Our ICU occupancy is very high across the province, and we thank our incredible frontline teams for the care they are providing in challenging circumstances.

We need everyone’s help to reduce demand on our healthcare system.

Please follow the restrictions outlined by Dr. Hinshaw, and ease community spread.