'Signs of hope': 2 patients recover from COVID-19 in Alberta
EDMONTON -- Along with the unfortunate news of Alberta's first death from the coronavirus, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said there is a glimmer of hope in the fight against the illness here.
During her daily update Thursday, Hinshaw said two patients with the illness have recovered from their symptoms.
There are no details on the patients who have recovered from the illness, but Hinshaw says it means there is hope against it.
"This is a good reminder that that's something we'll need to add on, because those are the signs of hope that we know that many people who get this do recover."
Hinshaw added everyone on the medical team wants to emphasize that COVID-19 remains a serious illness and they are doing all they can to control the spread. Part of those measures rely on residents following the rules set out by authorities.
"We’re doing all we can to fight the spread of this virus. This is why we have taken the extreme measures we have. We will get through this. But to do that, we need everyone's help take this seriously, (so) stay home unless it is essential for you to go out. Now is not the time for social gatherings. Practice social distancing if you do not have to go out, including if you have to work outside the home."
Hospital spaces used for COVID-19 cases
Health officials say there are teams working on possible beds that could be available to help coronavirus patients at a number of hospitals, including the Alberta Children's Hospital.
Dr. Mark Joffe, with Alberta Health Services, says that option is being considered because children appear to be "less affected" by COVID-19.
"There may be space within the Children's Hospital that could be utilized to care for adults if we are short of space in in other settings."
Alberta's first death from coronavirus
Hinshaw's update also included 27 new cases of the illness confirmed in the province, along with the province's first death.
"This individual was admitted in the ICU in the Edmonton Zone on March 12 and passed away late yesterday," she said. "This patient was a male in his 60s with underlying medical conditions. This is extremely sad news, and all of us involved in Alberta's COVID response feel this very deeply."
There are now 146 confirmed cases of the illness in the province of Alberta and nearly 900 in Canada.