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Northern Lights centre begins offering core health services in Fort McMurray

The hospital is still standing May 9, 2016 after a massive wildfire in Fort McMurray. Global News

As of Monday, the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre was offering core health services in Fort McMurray.

On May 3, the entire city was evacuated when a wildfire ripped through Fort McMurray.

During the emergency, staff at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre were able to get more than 100 patients out of the hospital in less than two hours.

READ MORE: Heroic measures praised during the Fort McMurray hospital evacuation 

Since then, the municipality has been working to get essential services like power, garbage removal, public transit and medical support back up and running.

Starting June 13, services offered by the health centre are:

  • Medical and surgical inpatient;
  • Intensive care unit;
  • Operating room;
  • Obstetrical, pediatric and psychiatry services.

By June 21, all priority health services are scheduled to be restored, including ambulatory care (endoscopy and exercise stress testing) and dialysis services.

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By June 23, it’s expected continuing and long-term care patients will be able to return.

READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire classified as ‘being held’ 

On Monday, the huge wildfire was classified as being held for the first time since it became out of control in early May. Wildfire information officer Lynn Daina said the designation means the fire is no longer growing, but is not yet under control.

“It is a big deal. It is like the happy dance day,” she said.

READ MORE: Wood Buffalo Food Bank re-opens after Fort McMurray wildfire

Also on Monday, Canada Post restarted some mail service to areas of Fort McMurray.

To handle the accumulation of mail, it will begin delivery in phases using the province’s zones.

Canada Post has started cleaning all community mailboxes starting in Zone 1 (Lower Townsite, Anzac, Fort McMurray 468 First Nation, Gregoire Lake Estates). It expects the process will be done by the end of June. Delivery to community mailboxes will include current mail but not mail accumulated during the evacuation.

To pick up your accumulated mail, wait for a notice in your community mailbox notifying you your mail is ready for pickup. The notice will explain where and when you can pick up your mail. That process will begin June 20.

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READ MORE: First commercial flight back to Fort McMurray touches down Friday morning

Thousands of residents have been returning to Fort McMurray this month after being forced to flee.

Visit the government of Alberta’s website for the very latest information on the wildfire status across Alberta and the current fire ban situation.

You can also download the Alberta Wildfire app for Android and Apple for real-time.

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