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Fort Saskatchewan Hospital suspends labour, delivery services due to COVID-19 pandemic

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The Fort Saskatchewan Community Hospital suspended labour and delivery services because of the COVID-19 pandemic effective April 14.

“The decision to temporarily close the unit is one of several measures to ensure that our workforce and resources are available to provide ongoing obstetrical services for the Edmonton Zone during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the hospital explained in a post on its Facebook page Wednesday.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Maternity services being consolidated at hospitals in Calgary zone

Anyone who was planning to deliver at the hospital is being redirected to other facilities.

“We recognize this change may be difficult for families; however, the safety of our patients continues to be our top priority,” the post reads.

“Unfortunately, pregnant patients who planned on delivering at our site will need to adjust their birth plan with their maternal health-care provider to deliver at another site in the Edmonton Zone.”

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Alberta Health Services said obstetrical services have been consolidated to the remaining four delivery sites in the Edmonton area: the Sturgeon Community Hospital, the Misericordia Community Hospital, the Grey Nuns Community Hospital and the Royal Alexandra Hospital’s Lois Hole Hospital for Women.

READ MORE: Pregnant in Edmonton amid COVID-19? Here’s what you need to know

“Families will continue to receive the full services of physicians, midwives and staff as they follow through with their birth plans throughout the pandemic response,” AHS said in a statement Thursday night.

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“Hospitals remain a safe place for mothers and their baby and it is important expectant mothers follow their caregiver’s plan during the pandemic.”

AHS added that it must ensure there is appropriate space and resources to handle the anticipated surge in COVID-19 patients. Alberta Health officials expect the number of cases of the virus to peak in mid-May.

READ MORE: ‘Probable’ Alberta COVID-19 model predicts 400-3,100 deaths: Kenney

The Fort Saskatchewan hospital’s emergency department is staying open for urgent care issues.

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With files from Caley Ramsay, Global News.

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