Edmonton sports facility turned to another hospital: chief physician

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EDMONTON – Alberta’s chief doctor says the Edmonton sports facility is being set up as another hospital with help from the Canadian Red Cross.

Chief medical health officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw says Alberta Health Services and the national charity are placing 100 patient beds in the Butterdome multi-purpose area at the University of Alberta.

“It will take a few weeks to set up the care center,” Hinshaw told a news release on Wednesday.

“There is no plan for the staff of these beds unless they are needed,” she said. “This is just a precautionary measure to use if needed in the future.”

Another hospital site was previously established at the Peter Lougheed Center in Calgary to help with a spike in COVID-19 cases, but it has not been used.

The province reported1,270 new infections of COVID-19 Wednesday, one of its lowest daily counts in more than two weeks, and 16 more deaths.

However, the province continued to lead the country with the daily disease rate of 258 people per 100,000 population.

Alberta Health said 749 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, 139 of whom were in intensive care.

The province began administering doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 to health care workers Tuesday.