Double whammy of flu and norovirus has Alberta hospitals over capacity

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CALGARY - Hospitals in Calgary and Edmonton are struggling to keep up with a spike in flu and norovirus cases that has led to some surgeries being postponed.

Dr. Francois Belanger, Alberta Health Services medical director for Calgary, says the occupancy rate in hospitals in both cities is well over 100 per cent on units which account for most patients.

He says outbreaks in continuing care facilities and on other wards has limited the ability to move patients around.

Belanger says there were nine surgeries postponed in Calgary on Tuesday but only two of 246 surgeries scheduled for Wednesday, so the numbers are not that significant.

He says the outbreak has come a bit earlier this year and is more severe than last year.

Belanger says it is stressful and hospital staff have been working around the clock trying to cope with an increased work load.

Organizations: Alberta Health Services

Geographic location: CALGARY, Alberta, Edmonton

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