Alberta to commission third-party review of pandemic response

Applications close Aug. 10

Frontline healthcare workers brings back swab samples which will be tested for COVID-19 at a drive thru clinic in Edmonton. The province is seeking bids for a consultant to conduct a third-party review of Alberta’s response to the pandemic.

The province is putting out a call for bids on a third-party review of Alberta’s pandemic response.

The request for proposals is now open, and will close Aug. 10. The province plans to select a candidate by Aug. 18, and hopes to have the review completed this fall,  according to a Sunday news release. 

As of Friday, there were 592 active COVID-19 cases across Alberta. So far, 160 deaths have attributed to COVID-19 in the province, while 7,844 people have recovered. 

According to the news release, the successful consultant will review “all aspects” of Alberta’s pandemic response including the health system, the economic response, governance and decision-making, procurement and engagement with other levels of government and organizations.

Like other jurisdictions, Alberta has battled outbreaks in care homes, medical facilities, and businesses.

In Edmonton last week, the Misericordia Community Hospital closed to all new patients as it battles an outbreak in both staff and patients. In a statement Saturday, Covenant Health said 17 patients and 17 staff had tested positive thus far, and that five deaths have been connected to the outbreak in the hospital.

At one point, an outbreak at a Cargill Ltd. beef-processing plant near High River, Alta., was the largest outbreak in North America. More than 1,500 cases of COVID-19 were linked to the plant, according to health officials, with more than 940 employees testing positive. Three deaths were linked to the facilities, and on Friday a Calgary firm launched an attempt to file a class action lawsuit in connection to the outbreak.

The province says the third-party review will be similar to those that followed past natural disasters, such as the wildfires in Fort McMurray and Slave Lake, and the floods that hit Calgary and southern Alberta in 2013.