Update on COVID-19 in Alberta expected Thursday as feds confirm help is at the ready

Alberta health officials are set to give an update on COVID-19 in the province on Thursday afternoon.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and president and CEO of Alberta Health Services Dr. Verna Yiu are set to speak at 3:30 p.m. The update will be live streamed in this post.

Read more: Alberta health-care workers desperate for COVID-19 help: ‘We are treading water as furiously as we can’

As of Wednesday, Alberta had 20,304 active cases of COVID-19, with 1,336 having been reported over the previous 24 hours.

More than 1,000 people were hospitalized with the virus on Wednesday, a number that has been sharply rising in recent weeks, 230 of them being treated in the province’s ICUs.

Click to play video: 'Available ICU beds in Alberta decreasing as COVID-19 crisis intensifies' Available ICU beds in Alberta decreasing as COVID-19 crisis intensifies

Available ICU beds in Alberta decreasing as COVID-19 crisis intensifies

On Thursday morning, federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair tweeted a response to the Alberta government’s Tuesday request for help from the Liberal government, should it be needed.

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“To the people of Alberta, I recognize the significant, immediate challenges currently facing Albertans, and know the importance of ensuring support to your health-care system,” he wrote in a formal letter of response.

“As such, I am pleased to officially confirm that the government of Canada will support the provincial government’s recent request and provide the necessary support to Albertans during this difficult time.”

Blair said that help could have many different forms, including the deployment of military personnel, military air-evacuation of patients needing to be sent away from Alberta for treatment, or the deployment of the Canadian Red Cross.

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