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Health Minister Shandro answers questions on AHS proposed consolidation plan

Last Updated Sep 28, 2020 at 5:07 pm MDT

PHOTO. Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, via videoconference, for the Sept. 28 update on Alberta's COVID-19 response. Supplied by Courtney Theriault/Twitter.

Alberta reported 15 new cases and nine recoveries of COVID-19 in the RMWB.

14 new cases and all recoveries occurred in Fort McMurray, while there is one new case outside the urban service area.

In Fort McMurray, there are 53 active cases, one death, and 205 resolved cases of the illness.

Outside the urban service area, there are still five active cases and 62 recoveries of COVID-19.

RELATED: Northern Lights Regional Health Centre no longer on COVID-19 watch list

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, provided the update on Alberta’s COVID-19 response via videoconference.

While she tested negative for COVID-19 over the weekend, Hinshaw said she opted to stay home to deal with a sore throat she picked up on Sept. 25.

She addressed herd immunity and other concerns around the virus.

Across the province, there are 406 new cases and four additional deaths linked to COVID-19.

There were 60 on Sept. 25, 184 on Sept. 26, and 162 on Sept. 27.

Less than one percent of the 51,264 tests conducted during the three day period came back positive.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro was also present for the daily update.

He answered questions about Alberta Health Services’ proposed plan to consolidate all municipal emergency dispatch services.

Shandro met with the delegation of mayors and fire chiefs from Wood Buffalo, Lethbridge, Red Deer, and Calgary on Sept. 25.

RELATED: Mayors, fire chiefs meet with Health Minister Shandro in Edmonton

“If the evidence shows that response times are adversely affected, then I’m going to be against it, but that’s not the evidence I’ve seen right now from AHS.”

Shandro said he told the delegation he would examine the information they provided.

“Any change that we make to Emergency Health Services, including EMS, has to be about making sure that we’re improving the care that patients get in the time that they need it, and where they need to go then afterwards.”

The government of Alberta previously overruled a plan to consolidate EMS dispatch services in 2013.

Alberta has 1549 active cases, 265 deaths, and 15,935 recovered cases of COVID-19.

63 Albertans are in hospital with 15 in intensive care.

Despite the outbreak at Foothills, Hinshaw said these numbers are well within Alberta’s capacity.

Foothills outbreak

The hospital in Calgary imposed visitation restrictions except for end-of-life scenarios.

Hinshaw shared her concerns about the rise in cases at Foothills.

READ MORE: Calgary hospital restricts visitors, postpones surgeries as COVID-19 infections grow

To date, four patients linked to the hospital died of COVID-19.

Hinshaw will next provide a live update on Oct. 1, 2020.