Youngest Albertan dies of COVID-19 in central area
The fifth COVID-19 death for the town of Drumheller since the start of the pandemic was reported by the province on Wednesday, September 22; on the same day, a total of 20 deaths from COVID-19 were reported across the province and included the youngest death in the province – an 18-year-old from the central area.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) was unable to provide further information on this case. The core area includes a total of 30 hospitals spread over 95,000 square kilometers and stretches from the Rocky Mountains to the Saskatchewan border and north of Calgary to the southern limits of Edmonton.
“We need to overcome the short-term restrictions,” says Dr Rithesh Ram, owner and operator of Riverside Medical Clinic. “What we need are long-term policies and procedures that will help us now and in the future, otherwise each subsequent wave has the potential to be more and more lethal.”
He adds that, despite beliefs that the government has created a mess of the pandemic, government officials are not the ones who revolt in front of hospitals and harass staff at restaurants and small businesses that have adopted the Restrictions Exemption Program ( REP) and require proof of vaccination.
Dr Ram also notes that politicians charged with putting restrictions and policies in place are not medical experts and rely on expert advice to make those decisions.
“Obviously, given Alberta’s poor performance, they’re not getting the best advice on how to move forward,” he says.
Dr Ram says all eligible Albertans must get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible to protect the overwhelmed health care system, which is currently “under attack by a tsunami of unvaccinated patients.”
Some 8,073 residents of the Starland-Drumheller County area, or 78.1% of residents 12 years of age and older, have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; 67.2 percent of the same population, or some 6,946 people, are fully immunized with two doses of the vaccine.
As of Monday, September 27, there were a total of 40 active cases, 525 recovered cases of COVID-19 and five reported deaths for the town of Drumheller.
In Starland County, there are 11 active cases, 87 active cases in Kneehill County and 24 active cases in Wheatland County.