VICTORIA — British Columbia's health minister says the province won't be taking COVID-19 patients from Alberta due to current demands on its own health-care system.
Adrian Dix says the B.C. Health Ministry told its Alberta counterpart Thursday that the province will help in other ways if it can and may be able to take patients in the future.
Alberta is facing a COVID-19 crisis that is threatening to collapse its health system, with 269 patients in an intensive care system set up for 173.
British Columbia reported 706 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday along with four new deaths linked to the illness, bringing the death toll to 1,877.
The ministry says in a statement there were 5,844 active infections across the province with 291 people in hospital, including 134 in intensive care.
It says close to 79 per cent of eligible B.C. residents aged 12 and up have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 86.3 per cent have received at least one shot.
"We are in a global pandemic, and our thoughts are with Albertans as they respond to COVID-19 in their province," Dix says in a statement.
"We salute Alberta’s health-care workers, and all health-care workers who are working tirelessly to care for patients and protect people and communities in the face of great challenge.”
About 30 per cent of active cases in B.C. are located in the Fraser Health region, followed by nearly 26 per cent in Interior Health, 18 per cent in Vancouver Coastal Health, close to 15 per cent in the north and 11 per cent in Island Health.
There were 23 active outbreaks in health-care settings, including three hospitals.
The Health Ministry says people who have not received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine made up 81.5 per cent of hospitalizations due to the illness in the first two weeks of September, while partially vaccinated people represented 4.9 per cent.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 16, 2021.
The Canadian Press