Ontario to offer help to COVID-ravaged Alberta

Alberta has declared a provincewide state of emergency

Ontario will help Alberta as the province deals with an influx of COVID-19 patients occupying intensive care beds.

What form the assistance will look like is something Health Minister Christine Elliott says needs to be determined but she did hint that “intensive care will be at the top of the list.”

Alberta reported more than 2,000 new infections on Friday.

The province has re-introduced mask mandates for public indoor spaces, and Alberta will soon be rolling out a proof-of-vaccination system.

On Wednesday, Premier Jason Kenney declared a province-wide state of emergency and warned that Alberta could run out of staffed intensive care beds within 10 days.

“This is a truly cross Canadian effort. There was a time when Ontario needed some help as well and other provinces helped us,” Elliott said. “We will certainly do the same to help Alberta and our officials are having conversations right now about exactly what they needed and we will be there to support them.”

Ontario received support from a team of healthcare workers from Newfoundland and Labrador during the third wave of the pandemic in the spring. The medical squads were sent to hospitals overwhelmed by the number of COVID-19 patients.

The offer from Ontario comes on the heels of British Columbia announcing it was unable to provide assistance to Alberta due to challenges in their own province as a result of the fourth wave. B.C. reported 11 additional deaths from the virus on Friday, the largest daily count since February.

On Friday, Ontario reported 794 new cases of COVID-19.