Alberta surpasses 1,500 COVID-19 hospitalizations

Alberta has surpassed 1,500 patients in hospital with COVID-19 for the first time in the pandemic, according to the province’s latest data update on Friday. 

Thursday’s report of 1,469 COVID-19 patients in hospital was revised to a pandemic-high 1,532 on Friday. 

The 11 highest patient counts have all come in the last 11 days.

The province’s latest COVID-19 hospitalization patient count stands at 1,496 as of Friday afternoon but will likely be revised upwards in the coming days. 

Hospitalization data is revised in the days after it is initially reported to account for accuracy and reporting delays.

The 1,496 patients in hospital also includes 105 patients in intensive care units, a decrease of four over the past week. 

Also on Friday, the province reported 15 more COVID-19 deaths spread across several days. One death from the Edmonton Zone was removed from the count, resulting in an increase of 13 and bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths up to 3,531.

The deaths were of individuals ranging in age from in their 60s to more than 80 years old.

Eighty Albertans have died in the last seven days. The deadliest days of the fifth wave so far were all in the last week, with 17 people dying due to COVID-19 last Friday.

There are now more than 41,000 known active cases in the province with more than 3,000 new cases reported on Friday. 

Earlier this month, the province introduced a number of new restrictions to testing eligibility with its chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, estimating the true case count was more than 10 times than indicated by PCR results. 

Alberta has now administered more than eight million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with 80.3 per cent of the population having had at least one dose and 74.1 per cent having had two shots. 

More than 32 per cent of Albertans have also received a third dose. 

Unvaccinated Albertans are outnumbered nearly four-to-one by those who have had at least a first shot of vaccine, but remain many times more likely to experience a severe outcome due to COVID-19 including hospitalization or death. 

The next data update is scheduled for Monday and will include data from Friday, Saturday and Sunday.