By KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on November 30, 2021.
Medicine Hat’s intensive care unit is void of COVID-19 patients for the first time in months, Alberta Health Services confirmed to the News on Monday.
It is unconfirmed whether the decrease in ICU patients is a result of improved health or loss of life.
Currently, the province is seeing a downward trend in the number of new COVID-19 cases. As of Monday afternoon, there were 64 cases in Medicine Hat. Two months ago – on Sept. 29, during the height of the fourth wave – MHRH had 11 patients in the ICU with COVID, a number local doctors said at the time was more than what the regional hospital had resources to handle.
Despite the decreasing case count, health officials are asking Albertans to remain vigilant and adhere to all COVID protocol, especially now that the Omicron variant has been detected in Canada.
“Albertans have worked so hard to get our case numbers down and to free up capacity in our hospitals by following the public health restrictions and guidelines, by participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program and by getting the jab,” Premier Jason Kenney said in a press conference Monday. “These actions together got us through the fourth wave and I’m confident that they could help us tackle the Omicron variant or any other development in the days and weeks to come.”
He also encouraged Albertans not yet vaccinated, to do so.
“Achieving the highest vaccination rates possible remains key to reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission and preventing a significant surge in cases,” Kenney said.