Calgary

Calgary's COVID-19 field hospital easing emergency department backlog

A field hospital built to deal with COVID-19 cases in Calgary is being used to relieve pressure on emergency departments facing significant strain in recent weeks.

The temporary facility is now receiving patients from across the city

A health-care official walks down the halls of a pandemic response unit at Peter Lougheed Centre in Calgary on Nov. 14, 2020. (Submitted by AHS/Leah Hennel)

A field hospital built to deal with COVID-19 cases in Calgary is being used to relieve pressure on emergency departments facing significant strain in recent weeks.

Alberta Health Services says the temporary facility, which opened in May 2020, is now receiving patients from across the city for emergency support or as an isolation space when needed.

The multi-million dollar field hospital was built as part of Alberta's contingency plan as cases of the deadly virus rose during the first wave.

Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro says it's because of the province's contingency plan that health-care professionals are able to quickly address a backlog of non-COVID surgeries postponed during the pandemic.

He says more than 62 per cent of 40,000 delayed surgeries have now been completed.

About 15,000 surgeries remain, 95 per cent of which he says are booked.

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