COVID-19 Weekly Regional Update

COVID-19 Weekly Regional Update

Michelle Pinon
News Advertiser

On Oct. 13 Health Minister Tyler Shandro stated there will be no job losses for nurses or other front-line clinical staff, but a minimum of 100 management positions will be eliminated before the end of the year.

Shandro pointed out that any reduction in full-time equivalent positions would be in keeping with proactive disclosures announced in the fall of 2019. Also, a full review of senior Alberta Health Services executive will be completed before the end of the fiscal year.

The official government press release stated, “Alberta’s government has directed that only a portion of the actions identified in the implementation plan proceed, changes that are expected to yield up to $600 million in annual savings.

Plans to contract out laundry services and community lab services, both announced in 2019, will continue. Requests for proposals (RFPs) for these services will be issued before the end of the year. About 70 percent of community lab services are currently provided by the private sector, while about 68 percent of health-care laundry is already cleaned by the private sector.”

AHS has been given the go-ahead to proceed with developing business cases for both environmental and food preparation services in 2022 and 2023. Both business cases will be subject to review and approval by the Government of Alberta.

Shandro went on to say, “The pandemic has changed everything. As a result, AHS has been directed to proceed carefully, putting patient care above all else. As a first step, AHS has been directed to eliminate a minimum of 100 management positions and to proceed with previously announced contracting work. This approach will allow us to strike the right balance between supporting the COVID-19 response and Alberta’s challenging fiscal situation.”

There was a sharp rise in the number of case in the Edmonton Zone over Thanksgiving weekend. That prompted Dr. Hinshaw to implement voluntary health measures in the Edmonton Zone. They include: keeping gatherings no more than 15 people, wear a mask in all indoor work settings (except when working along or appropriate barriers are in place, limit cohorts to no more than 3, except young children in child care.

As of Oct. 12, there were  20,956 total cases;  2,615 active cases; and 18,055 recovered cases. There were  97 people in the hospital, with 13 people in intensive care. There have been  286 deaths. The number of completed tests were  1,556,275 and  1,143,870 people have been tested.

In Vegreville/Minburn County, there were:  8 cases, 0 active cases,  8 recovered cases, and 0 deaths. In Two Hills County, there were:  18 cases, 0 active,  17 recovered cases, and 1 death. In Lamont County, there were:  12 cases, 2 active cases, 10 recovered cases, and  0 deaths. In Tofield, (Beaver County West) there were:  19 cases,  3 active cases,  16 recovered cases, and 0 deaths. In Viking, (Beaver County East) there were:  74 cases, 0 active cases,  74 recovered cases, and 0 deaths.

There were  464 confirmed cases in  209 schools. Of those, 121 schools with 319  total cases are on alert. Outbreaks are declared in 88 schools with  319 total cases. Of those, 21 are on watch as they have more than five cases each. A total of  70 schools have now been removed from the alert list since the school year began.

Schools in the County of Two Hills, County of Minburn, Lamont County, and Beaver County do not have outbreaks, (five or more cases) at this time.