Alberta's top doc issues plea after reports of "COVID party" that put people in ICU

Sep 23 2021, 10:31 pm

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health is urging people not to attempt to catch COVID-19, following reports of a gathering that landed people in hospital with the virus.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw made the plea Thursday afternoon during a regularly scheduled COVID-19 update, following a report that a “COVID party” sent some residents of Edson, Alberta, to hospital.

The event was apparently intended for people to try and intentionally catch the dangerous virus in a bid to achieve natural immunity without being vaccinated.

Hinshaw said that it has not been confirmed that such a party did occur, but stressed that such actions while hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients is dangerous.

“Whether or not this specific report is verified, anyone contemplating this kind of activity should know that this consequence – severe illness, and transmitting to others who may become severely ill or even die – is an absolutely likely outcome. Hosting or attending an event like this is irresponsible and dangerous.”

She added that they are looking to see if there is evidence in any of their current data to indicate a greater number of admissions, as well as looking within their ministry or Alberta Health Services colleagues to see if there have been any reports of such an incident.

“This kind of action is dangerous not just for those attending but for those around them and should not be contemplated,” Hinshaw said.

“If anyone wants to get protection from infection, vaccines are free and easily available.”

On Thursday, Alberta reported 1,660 new COVID-19 cases and 17 additional deaths.

There are currently 1,058 Albertans in hospital with the virus, including 226 in intensive care.

Laine MitchellLaine Mitchell

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