Air Quality Advisory lifted for Fort McMurray

June 14, 2016

FORT McMURRAY – Alberta Health Services (AHS) has lifted the air quality advisory issued on May 2, 2016 for the Fort McMurray area. Air monitoring has shown that community is no longer being significantly impacted by smoke from wildfires.

With the lifting of the May 2 air quality advisory and continued restoration of health services at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre (NLRHC), AHS is no longer recommending the delayed return of children under the age of seven to Fort McMurray.

There are ongoing wildfires in the North Zone and air quality can change with wind and weather conditions. As a result, the precautionary air quality advisory issued May 5, 2016, remains in place for the entire North Zone of AHS.

Pediatric services are now available at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre (NLRHC) and in the community, along with medical and surgical inpatient, ICU, OR, obstetrical and inpatient psychiatric services.

These additional healthcare services – which reopened June 13 at NLRHC - significantly add to the current emergency department, laboratory, and diagnostic imaging (X-ray & CT) services that returned June 1st. With this advancement, NLRHC has returned to offering core Regional Hospital healthcare services.

On June 21st, NLRHC will return back to providing full comprehensive healthcare services. This will include Ambulatory Care services (like endoscopy and exercise stress testing) as well as dialysis, cancer care, and long term care.

People previously recommended not to return to Fort McMurray – including people with a chronic or acute medical condition such as heart, lung, gastrointestinal or kidney disease - can now safely return to the community.

AHS is still recommending individuals delay returning to Fort McMurray until after June 20th if they require dialysis or are receiving cancer treatments; or are more than 36 weeks pregnant or have complications of pregnancy such as hypertension, diabetes or planned Cesarean Section.

If you are not sure, or if you have further questions, please call Health Link (811).

Residents with health concerns can also contact Health Link to speak to a registered nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

- 30 -

For media inquiries, contact:

Kirsten Goruk
AHS Communications