In 14 days, Alberta could see more than 1,500 COVID-19 patients hospitalized

A leaked graphic that shows Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) ‘early warning system’ shows non-ICU admissions to hospital will be at the highest they have ever been during any point of the pandemic in just two weeks.

The graphic, posted to Twitter, shows projections on a low, medium and high scale for the next 14 days.

On the low end, 968 people will be in hospital, excluding those in intensive care units (ICU). The medium scale suggests 1,278 could be in hospital while 1,541 could be the worst case scenario.

AHS, in a response to the leaked projections, says it is ready to meet demand if necessary.

“During the previous four waves, AHS has been able to increase both hospital and ICU capacity as required to meet demand,” read a statement.

“Plans are in place to increase acute care capacity, with appropriate staffing and resources should it be needed. The current projected need can be met.”

Alberta Health says its still ‘too early’ to determine what type of impact Omicron may have on the province’s health-care system.

“No model can exactly predict a given epidemic curve, especially when so many factors are changing,” said Cameron Traynor, an Alberta Health spokesperson.

“At this point it shows higher non-ICU admissions than we’ve seen before but relatively lower ICU admissions, in line with experience elsewhere. The forecast shows a wide range of potential changes, reinforcing the point that it’s too soon to know what the impact of Omicron will be.”

As of Friday, Alberta Health says 440 people are in hospital with an additional 64 in the ICU.

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