Alberta to send PPE to Ontario, Quebec, B.C.

Premier Jason Kenney announced Saturday the province would be sending personal protective equipment or PPE to other provinces battling COVID-19.

Kenney made the announcement from an Alberta Health Services (AHS) warehouse while espousing the province’s readiness for the pandemic.

“Our numbers are far lower than the hardest hit areas of Europe, the United States and significantly lower than we’ve seen in provinces like Quebec and Ontario,” he said.

Kenney said Alberta is so far outperforming the probable scenario of models released earlier this week, which predicted as many as 800,000 infections.

“We are at about one quarter of the modelled levels under the probable scenario for today, and that is very good news,” he said, adding it was not reason to halt collective efforts to stop the spread.

Kenney said the numbers supported the belief that Alberta would have beds and medical equipment beyond its need.

According to the news release, Ontario will receive:

  • 250,000 N95 masks.
  • 2.5 million procedural masks.
  • 15 million gloves.
  • 87,000 goggles.
  • 50 ventilators.

Quebec will receive:

  • 250,000 N95 masks.
  • 2 million procedural masks.
  • 15 million gloves.

British Columbia is set to receive 250,000 N95 masks.

The premier also gave an update on COVID-19 cases in the province, adding 69 confirmed cases to bring the provincial total to 1,569. There are 216 cases suspected of being acquired in the community.

He also reported an additional death from the McKenzie Towne continuing care facility in Calgary, bringing the total number of deaths at the facility to 18.

This brings the total numbers of deaths in the province to 40. In the Calgary zone, 28 died from COVID-19, seven in the Edmonton zone, four in the North zone, and one person has died in the Central zone.

Forty-seven Albertans were hospitalized — one fewer than on Friday — and 13 in intensive care units. A total of 774 people have recovered, according to the premier.

The province is also making it a requirement for continuing care workers to wear masks at all times when providing direct patient care or working in patient-care areas, starting next week.

‘The right thing to do’

Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Alberta’s modelling indicates the health-care system can handle the peak of the disease.

By the end of April, Shandro said, AHS would have 2,250 acute care beds, almost 1,100 ICU beds, and 760 ventilators — more than double the current count.

He said the province had recently signed contracts valued at more than $200 million, including for millions of gowns and N95 masks.

Shandro said the province is in a position to ensure Albertans’ health as well as support other Canadian health-care systems.

“This is the right thing to do,” he said at the press conference. “I assure all Albertans that we will have ample supply.”

The province says the equipment will begin shipping next week.


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