COVID-19 field hospital construction to be finished within days: officials
In this undated photo, the Canadian Red Cross works to set up a field hospital at the University of Alberta's Butterdome in Edmonton so that the facility could help care for a surge in COVID-19 patients by mid-January. (Credit: Canadian Red Cross)
EDMONTON -- Set up of the Red Cross field hospital at the University of Alberta's Butterdome will be finished this week, Alberta Health Services says.
It is on track to open to patients by mid-January, if needed.
Construction of the "alternate care centre" began after Christmas.
It could host up to 100 patients recovering from COVID-19 who are considered to be of low risk of transmitting the disease.
The facility will be equipped to care for other kinds of patients, too.
However, the province says the 100 beds will be kept in reserve for now.
AHS is currently working to add 2,250 regular beds and 425 ICU beds across the province.
Currently, there are 905 Albertans with COVID-19 in hospitals, 136 of whom are receiving intensive care.
Over the past six weeks, AHS says 65 ICU spaces have been opened in the Edmonton medical zone, bringing its total ICU capacity to 137.
On Monday, in its first comprehensive update since the holiday, Alberta reported 5,107 cases and 96 deaths since Dec. 30.