Immunization services continue to be offered regularly by AHS at Westerner Park Exhibition Hall, Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Immunization services continue to be offered regularly by AHS at Westerner Park Exhibition Hall, Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Red Deer monitoring COVID-19 as cases rise

Immunization still available at Westerner Park Exhibition Hall

Red Deer continues to lag behind the provincial COVID-19 immunization rate as case numbers steadily increase.

Acting city manager Tara Lodewyk said the city is monitoring the active COVID caseload and the rate of spread, and strongly encourages residents and city staff to get vaccinated.

“We’d like to see the vaccination rate continuing to increase,” Lodewyk said.

“We all need to do our best to minimize the spread, and to be mindful of how our behaviours contribute to that. We are encouraging that we all work together in a kind and patient way to minimize the spread.”

As of Thursday, 68.5 per cent of eligible Albertans age 12 and up were fully vaccinated, with 77.2 per cent receiving at least one dose. But in Red Deer, only 51.2 per cent have received two doses, and 57.7 per cent had one dose.

On Thursday, there were 6,709 active COVID-19 cases in the province, including 749 new cases.

Red Deer has 146 active cases, up 19 from Wednesday, according to geospatial mapping on the provincial government’s website. That is the sixth-highest active case total in the province. The city has almost eight times more active cases Friday, compared to less than a month ago, on July 20 when there were 17.

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Alberta Health Services said Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre is presently treating 10 COVID patients, including four who are in the intensive care unit.

The hospital continues to maintain a designated unit for treating COVID-positive patients and has sufficient capacity in its ICU, AHS said.

Immunization services continue to be offered regularly by AHS at Westerner Park Exhibition Hall, Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. No appointments are required for Albertans 18 and older wanting their first or second dose of the Moderna vaccine, or youth (born 2004-2009) wanting their first or second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Immunizations also continue to be offered through pharmacies and family physicians. Visit https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page17295.aspx for more information.

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Lodewyk said a monitoring team with the city meets regularly to look at available data and make recommendations.

“They’re looking at what other communities have done. They’re analyzing numbers. They’re looking at what’s happening in our city, what’s happening within the organization.

“We continue to monitor the situation. We work to be prepared and work to maintain business continuity for our residents. And we continue to follow the province’s lead and look to them for guidance,” Lodewyk said.

Alberta’s NDP says the economic recovery is at risk as the province enters a fourth wave, and Premier Jason Kenney must speak to Albertans now and layout his response.

“The government’s response will determine how large and severe this wave will be. Businesses, working people, students and families all need to know what the plan is,” said NDP health critic David Shepherd during a press conference.

“We saw last year that cases began to climb after back-to-school. This year we are heading into the fall from a much higher starting point and with a healthcare system struggling with exhaustion and critical staffing shortages.”

Daily case numbers are ten times higher than this day in 2020. Hospitalizations are four times higher, and ICU admissions are more than three times higher.

The NDP is also calling for the government to redouble its effort to bring vaccines to Albertans, wherever they are. This includes clinics at supermarkets, malls, workplaces, parks, beaches, movie theatres, festivals, and anywhere Albertans gather, as well as an increase in mobile units.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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