EDMONTON -- The young patients of the Stollery Children's Hospital's ICU will be moved to a cardiac intensive care unit as the Edmonton medical zone works to find extra beds.

Officials said the children will receive the same care in the cardiac ICU, but that the move will mean they will no longer have private rooms.

"We're actually having the staff from the pediatric intensive unit go up to join the patients in the cardiac intensive unit so that they'll have the saem staff, they'll have the same physicians, and the same care there," explained the hospital's medical director Dr. Carina Magaesic.

Under current rules, that means only one essential visitor will be allowed with a child at a time and that there may not be a bed for parents to spend the night with their child.

"We acknowledge that this will be extremely difficult for some families, and we are truly sorry for the impact this decision may have. We will do all we can to accommodate one patient per room," Alberta Health Services spokesperson Kerry Williamson wrote in a statement to CTV News Edmonton.

However, the co-chair of a group of Edmonton doctors called it necessary but regrettable forced upon AHS. 

"This could have been prevented by earlier imposition of public health restrictions by the Government of Alberta," Dr. Noel Gibney told CTV News Edmonton. 

The reorganization is the next step of surge capacity measures being implemented in the Edmonton medical zone, where post-operative rooms and other spaces are being reassigned for critical care patients.

The first step was to maximize existing capacity and limit admissions by rescheduling surgeries were post-operative care in an ICU could be needed, AHS said.

Some pediatric cardiac surgeries are being postponed, Williamson added, but all urgent and emergent operations are going forward.

On Sunday, Alberta saw its number of active cases fall for a sixth, straight day to 19,201 – the lowest since Dec. 5.

However, hospitalizations number 760 across the province; 149 of hospitalized COVID-19 patients are in ICUs.