CALGARY — Special clinics are being set up in Calgary and Edmonton to assess and treat people who are showing signs of the flu.
The clinics were expected to open Friday morning and will operate seven days a week.
The government said Thursday that the outlets will provide assessment and “limited treatment” to people who need care for influenza.
It urged people to consult their family doctors or look online before seeking help.
Dr. Gerry Predy, chief medical officer for Alberta Health Services, said more of these clinics could open across the province in the coming days.
“We do daily assessments of how facilities and programs across the province are coping. In those communities and cities where things are getting tight, we’ll open more of these centres,” he said.
Visits to emergency departments are up by about 40 per cent, Predy said.
“With what we’ve seen with the distribution of the disease so far it has hit kids very hard. The Stollery and the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary have both seen dramatically increased volumes in their emergency departments,” he said.
The deputy medical officer of health in Calgary has said because emergency rooms are busier, extra staff are being brought in to help cope.
The clinics will be held at Edmonton’s Duggan Health Centre and at the Richmond Road Clinic in Calgary.
Dr. Stephen Duckett, chief executive of Alberta Health Services, said during a meeting in Red Deer, Alta., on Thursday that another clinic was also expected to open soon in Wetaskiwin, in central Alberta.
(CHED, CHUB, The Canadian Press)