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Despite COVID-19, Alberta ICU admissions dropped in 2020

In fact, ICU admissions dropped in every ICU across the entire province, except two which saw slight increases.

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Admissions into Alberta’s intensive care units (ICUs) actually dropped last year, says an internal Alberta Health Services memo obtained by the Western Standard.

In fact, ICU admissions dropped in every ICU across the entire province, except two which saw slight increases.

In total in 2020, there were 22,409 patients put into ICU care.

That is down significantly from the 24,010 number of people in 2019.

Health officials and politicians have repeatedly said skyrocketing ICU admissions have threatened to overwhelm the provincial health care system, a key argument used to justify harsh COVID-19 lockdowns since the pandemic first hit in March 2020.

While numbers in ICU peaked at over 100, there are currently only 55 people receiving that level of care. There are 269 people in regular hospital wards as of Friday.

The province has said the benchmark to ease restrictions is 450 hospitalizations and declining.

Alberta Health ICU statistics

The province has registered more than 133,000 cases of the virus that has so far resulted in 1,877 deaths. There are currently 4,505 active cases across the province.

The average age of people succumbing to COVID-19 in Alberta is 82 years, which is also the average left expectancy in the province.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw has said ICU admissions are one of the key indicators to when the province will ease current pandemic lockdown regulations.

Hinshaw said the province will also be watching leading indicators of case counts, R value and positivity rate and whether there is a concerning growth in any of them.

“It’s about the change. It’s about the trajectory. It’s about the trends,” she said.

“So if those three trends indicate we’re seeing growth and we’re seeing sustained growth over time then that’s a very concerning metric that would mean we would need to pause or take a step backward in our path,” she said.

A decision from the province on whether or not to move to the next stage of the lockdown will be made next week.

Numerous rallies have been held across the province as people have gathered to protest the restrictions.

Specifics about who is involved in Phase 2 have not been shared with the public.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. wpps-support

    March 4, 2021 at 6:08 am

    This is a test comment.

  2. Proudly_Free

    February 27, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    Note to “Dr.” Hinshaw,
    In case you didn’t pass 3rd grade math before going to medical school, 269+55=324. The number 324 is less than (<) 450 and we ARE on a downward trend. So, QED, tell your boss to END the damn restrictions NOW!!

  3. Anthony Burbidge

    February 27, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    Thank you so much for writing about this Dave. As a business owner and an educator, it’s been heart breaking to see what our society has done and continues to do to our kids.

    I can’t say much because I have to consider my employees, my students, my family, and my business. But as a reporter, you can give a voice to those of us who know what’s going on but can’t speak up.

    Your article gives me some hope that the tide is turning, facts are emerging, and logic will one day prevail.

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Lawyer blasts Alberta sports facilities for vaccine passport policies

“It is unlawful for your facility to implement REP (Restriction Exemption Program) for youth activities,” From said in his letter to facilities.

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Lawyer Derek From has sent a stern warning to sport facility operators Monday saying they are breaching the law by requiring parents and kids 12 and over to show their vaccine status.

A constitutional lawyer for 10 years with the Canadian Constitution Foundation, From is now in private practice at an Airdrie law firm.

From was retained by a group of parents who have kids enrolled in youth sports programs in Calgary and the surrounding area.

“It is unlawful for your facility to implement REP (Restriction Exemption Program) for youth activities,” From said in his letter to facilities.

REP allows businesses to either choose to operate as usual if they implement a vaccine passport program or limit their attendance to one-third of their fire code capacity and abide by a number of other public health restrictions.

“Youth sports are supposed to be out of scope for these mandates according to the latest public health order,” From said in an interview with the Western Standard.

Last Thursday, public health order #43-2021 was rescinded due to “bad faith behaviour on the part of businesses offering youth activities and rogue municipal governments seeking to increase and stiffen the restrictions enacted by the Government of Alberta,” From states in the letter.

In its place, order #45-2021 was enacted making it clear that youth activities are out of the scope of REP.  

“This means that facilities that house youth sports are not allowed to use (vaccine) passports. They have to opt out of the passport program,” From said.

However, Calgary city council passed a bylaw that came into effect September 23 forcing businesses eligible for the REP to participate without choice including recreation facilities.

Calgary bylaw 65M2021 says “any person aged 12 years and older must show identification and either proof of vaccination, proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or a medical exemption from vaccine letter.”

“With (Mayor Naheed) Nenshi running interference on this issue, a lot of people were turned away from a number of facilities over the weekend,” From said.

“Essentially, they (city council) have left no one any choice in the municipality of Calgary including hockey rinks, even though it falls out of scope according to the province. Now a bunch of other surrounding communities are falling in line.”  

The legal letter demands these facilities stop enforcing any REP-related restrictions associated with youth physical, performance or recreational activities, and begin to follow the clear direction set out by the Alberta government regarding what falls in and out of scope for the REP.

“Youth physical activity, performance activity and recreational activity, where all participants are under the age of 18” is listed as outside of the purview of REP. This means that REP is not available for implementation in association with such activities,” the letter states.

“Thousands of parents are ready to have this fight for their kids across the province,” From said.

“If the letters aren’t enough to change the course for these facilities, we will start suing rinks and even the city (Calgary).”

From said he was sending the letter to Nenshi and Calgary council Monday.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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WATCH: Pawlowski arrested at Calgary airport

Pawlowski was handcuffed and taken away by Canadian Border Service Agency members when he landed back in Calgary via a private plane Monday afternoon.

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Controversial Calgary Pastor Artur Pawlowski is back behind bars again.

Pawlowski was handcuffed and taken away by Canadian Border Service Agency members when he landed back in Calgary via a private plane Monday afternoon.

He had been out of the country for four months.

Details on why he was taken into custody haven’t been revealed.

Pawlowski has been repeatedly ticketed and jailed for breaking provincial COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

He has recently been on a speaking tour in the US.

more to come…

source: streetchurch facebook

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Norway goes back to life as usual before COVID

Next to Denmark and Britain, Norway joins a growing number of countries who are lifting all COVID-related domestic restrictions.

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Norway lifted all remaining COVID-19 restrictions this weekend in an effort to return to normal.

“Now the time has come to return to a normal daily life,” said Erna Solberg, Norways’s prime minister at a press conference.

Neither vaccination status nor a negative test result was required for citizens to enter nightclubs and restaurants which saw throngs of people heading to their favourite hangouts en masse.

Saturday marked the first time capacity limits were lifted in bars and restaurants in more than 500 days. Revellers young and old took to the streets with rowdy celebrations.

Next to Denmark and Britain, Norway joins a small but growing number of countries who are lifting all COVID-19-related domestic restrictions. Sports venues, bars, restaurants and other businesses will be permitted to return to full capacity and will no longer require social distancing or masking.

According to the Institute of Public Health, Norwegian vaccination rates sit around 76% for one dose and 67% are considered fully vaccinated.

Solberg still encouraged citizens to get vaccinated and said those who contract COVID-19 will still be required to self-isolate to avoid transmission.

“Even though everyday life is now back to normal for most people, the pandemic is not over,” Solberg said.

Although some restrictions will remain in place for those arriving in Norway from countries with higher rates of infection, travel restrictions will also be lifted, the government said.

“In short, we can now live as normal,” Solberg said.

Denmark was the first country in the European Union (EU) to lift all corona virus restrictions on September 10.

“The vaccines and the great efforts of all of Denmark’s citizens over such a long period are the foundation for why we are going strong,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said on Twitter just before the country opened up.

After seeing nearly three-quarters of adults fully vaccinated and experiencing low rates of infection and death in August, the Danish Health Authority declared the virus is “no longer a critical threat to society.”

Britain lifted much of its COVID-19-related restrictions over the summer.

As of September 23, more than 48 million people in the UK have received their fist does – 89% of those over 16 years old. A total 82% of the population or 44 million people 16 and older have been double jabbed.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

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