Hinshaw apologizes to family of 14-year-old after saying he died from COVID-19

Alberta’s prime physician delivered a public apology Thursday after saying earlier this week {that a} 14-year-old boy with different medical circumstances had died from COVID-19.

While an preliminary report had indicated that COVID-19 was a secondary trigger of the teenager’s dying, a subsequent assessment has decided that not to be the case, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw instructed a information convention.

“I first want to apologize to the family of the 14-year-old whose death I spoke about on Tuesday,” Hinshaw stated after stepping to the rostrum.

“The pain of losing a child is terrible enough without having that loss compounded by a public debate about the circumstances.

“I’m sorry if the way in which that I spoke about that simply made your grief worse.”

Alberta typically records deaths where COVID-19 may have been a primary or secondary cause. Deaths of people who were recently diagnosed with COVID-19 are also reported, Hinshaw said.

In cases where the cause of death is not certain, the cases are reviewed. If it turns out that COVID-19 is not a primary or secondary cause of death, that death is removed from the total.

In future, the Alberta government will not publicly report any COVID-19 deaths in anyone under 18 until a review of the death has been completed, she said.

“We will prioritize accuracy over timeliness in these instances.”

30 new deaths

Over the last 24 hours, Alberta Health has identified 916 new cases of the disease and conducted 12,700 tests, Hinshaw said. The test positivity rate was about 7.5 per cent.

Thirty new deaths were reported to Alberta Health over the last 24 hours, which occurred between Oct. 7 and Oct. 13, Hinshaw said. Most involved people who were not fully vaccinated, she said.

There are currently 1,016 patients in hospital being treated for the disease, including 231 in ICU.

Alberta has 13,423 active cases. Here is how they break down across the province’s health zones:

  • Calgary: 3,466
  • Edmonton: 3,149
  • Central: 2,645
  • North: 2,612
  • South: 1,534
  • Unknown: 17

Pressure on hospitals slowly easing

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO of Alberta Health Services, said pressure on the province’s hospitals and intensive care units is slowly easing.

As of Thursday morning, Alberta’s ICUs had 76 per cent occupancy and 97 beds were available to anyone needing critical care, she said.

She said that’s a significant improvement from a month ago, when ICU capacity had reached 90 per cent, including surge beds, and the number of patients admitted to ICU was increasing daily. 

A month ago, more than 20 patients were admitted to ICU each day. That is down to about 13 to 15 per day, she said.

“After experiencing maybe essentially the most troublesome interval in our health-care system, we welcome excellent news,” Yiu said. “We are grateful that the numbers seem to be falling. But we all know that this pattern will be reversed simply, particularly if we grow to be complacent.”

The impact of Thanksgiving gatherings remains to be seen, she added.

Yiu said health-care workers are still being pushed to their limits. Pressures on the health-care system are still high, creating heavy workloads for health-care workers, she said.

“Improving numbers doesn’t imply that the workload instantly returns to regular. Their days proceed to be extraordinary, and their efforts stay above and past what’s often anticipated of them,” she stated.

Red Cross personnel now in Alberta

On Thursday, the Canadian Red Cross stated 9 Red Cross medical personnel are actually deployed in Alberta, with further assist arriving within the coming days and weeks. Alberta’s authorities requested the assistance.

The group stated it expects up to 20 of its medical personnel will work in Alberta hospitals and testing and vaccination centres, in areas together with Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Wetaskiwin and Lacombe.

The Canadian Armed Forces has additionally deployed a contingent of nurses to Alberta.

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