36 more Albertans in hospital with COVID-19 Friday, 5 additional deaths reported

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam and deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo discussed incidental hospitalization rates on Friday, which they said are “useful in the study of the impact of the Omicron variant.” Incidental admissions occur when patients are admitted to a hospital for other reasons but tested positive for COVID-19.

Alberta Health reported 36 more people were in hospitals receiving care for COVID-19 on Friday than there were on Thursday.

A total of 822 people were in hospital on Friday afternoon with the disease, with 81 of those people receiving care in the ICU.

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The province also reported five additional deaths had been reported in the past 24 hours.

Two deaths took place in the Edmonton zone: a woman in her 80s with pre-existing conditions and a woman in her 90s with no pre-existing conditions.

There were two who died in the Calgary zone: a man in his 80s and a man in his 90s, both with pre-existing conditions.

The last death was a man in his 80s in the South zone. Alberta Health says he did not have any pre-existing conditions.

To date, 3,380 Albertans have died from COVID-19.

Alberta has made major changes to PCR testing criteria over the past weeks, limiting testing access to those living or working in high-risk areas. The average Albertan can no long receive a PCR test, meaning the total number of active COVID-19 cases in Alberta is believed to be much higher than the province is reporting.

Last week, chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said a conservative estimate is that the province is catching one in 10 positive cases.

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On Friday, the province reported an additional 6,163 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, another pandemic record for Alberta. There were a total of 64,129 confirmed active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta on Friday afternoon.

According to Hinshaw’s estimate, that means there are likely at least 640,000 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta.

The province also reported an additional 232 COVID-19 cases involving the Omicron variant had been confirmed in the last 24 hours.

As of Friday, there have been 436,495 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alberta. To date, 368,986 of those confirmed cases have recovered.

On Friday, the province announced more than eight million doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Alberta.

To date, 89.7 per cent of Albertans aged 12 and older have received one dose, 85.7 per cent aged 12 and older have received two doses, and 158,000 children aged five to 11 have received their first dose of pediatric vaccine.

Since booster eligibility opened to everyone 18 and older, 1.2 million third doses have been administered.

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“I am proud that (Alberta Health Services) and pharmacies have responded to the increased demand for vaccine by quickly and safely delivering doses to the Albertans who need them,” Health Minister Jason Copping said in a news release.

“Vaccines are an important part of our efforts to prevent hospitals and ICUs from being overwhelmed with new cases of COVID-19, so it is critical that every Albertan continues to get each dose they are eligible for.”

Those looking to book a COVID-19 vaccine can do so by calling 811 or visiting the province’s website.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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