While an initial report indicated that COVID-19 was a secondary cause of the teenager’s death, a subsequent examination determined it was not, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Deena Hinshaw said. at a press conference. “I first want to apologize to the family of the 14-year-old whose death I spoke of on Tuesday,” she said after stepping on the podium.
“The pain of losing a child is terrible enough that this loss is not compounded by public debate about the circumstances.
“I’m sorry if the way I spoke about it only made your grief worse.
Alberta typically records deaths where COVID-19 may have been a primary or secondary cause. Deaths of people who have recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 are also being reported, Hinshaw said.
In cases where the cause of death is not certain, the cases are reviewed. If it turns out that COVID-19 is not a primary or secondary cause of death, that death is removed from the total.
Going forward, the Government of Alberta will not publicly report any COVID-19-related deaths among those under the age of 18 until a death review is completed, she said.
“We will prioritize precision over speed in these cases. “
30 new deaths
In the past 24 hours, Alberta Health has identified 916 new cases of the disease and performed 12,700 tests, Hinshaw said. The test positivity rate was around 7.5 percent.
Thirty new deaths were reported to Alberta Health in the past 24 hours, which occurred between Oct. 7 and Oct. 13, Hinshaw said. Most involved people who were not fully immunized, she said.
There are currently 1,016 hospitalized patients treated for the disease, including 231 in intensive care.
Alberta has 13,423 active cases. Here is how they are distributed in the health zones of the province:
- Calgary : 3 466
- Edmonton : 3 149
- Centre : 2 645
- North: 2,612
- South: 1,534
- Unknown: 17
Pressure on hospitals is slowly easing
Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO of Alberta Health Services, said the pressure on hospitals and intensive care units in the province is slowly easing.
As of Thursday morning, Alberta’s intensive care units were 76% occupied and 97 beds were available for anyone in need of intensive care, she said.
She said this was a significant improvement from a month ago, when intensive care capacity reached 90%, including extra beds, and the number of patients admitted to hospitals. intensive care was increasing daily.
A month ago, more than 20 patients were admitted to intensive care every day. That’s about 13 to 15 a day, she said.
“After going through perhaps the most difficult time in our healthcare system, we are looking forward to good news,” said Yiu. “We are grateful that the numbers seem to be going down. But we know that this trend can be reversed easily, especially if we become complacent. “
The impact of Thanksgiving gatherings remains to be seen, she added.
Yiu said healthcare workers are always being pushed to their limits. The pressures on the healthcare system are still high, creating heavy workloads for healthcare workers, she said.
“Improving the numbers does not mean that the workload suddenly returns to normal. Their days continue to be extraordinary and their efforts go beyond what is usually expected of them, ”she said.
Red Cross staff now in Alberta
On Thursday, the Canadian Red Cross said nine Red Cross medical staff are now deployed to Alberta, with additional support coming in the days and weeks to come. The Government of Alberta has asked for help.
The organization said it expects up to 20 of its medical staff to work at hospitals and testing and vaccination centers across Alberta, in places such as Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Wetaskiwin and Lacombe.
The Canadian Armed Forces have also deployed a contingent of nurses to Alberta.
Flu vaccination campaign starts Monday
Alberta Health officially launches its annual flu shot campaign on Monday, and the two doctors on Thursday urged all Albertans to get the flu shot to avoid potential strain on the healthcare system.
While there were no cases of the flu in Alberta last year, there have been three confirmed cases so far this season, Hinshaw said. The symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are very similar, she added.
Hinshaw said research indicates it is safe for people to receive doses of both vaccines at the same time.