COVID-19 hospitalizations, transmission down in Alberta: Copping

COVID-19 hospitalizations and transmission saw a decline in Alberta last week, the health minister said.

Jason Copping said Alberta's positivity rate was lower compared to recent weeks and that wastewater also trended down almost everywhere, including Calgary.

"This downward trend indicates that transmission is slowing," he said.

The number of Albertans in hospital with COVID-19 decreased to 1,225, including the 37 patients in intensive care.

"I'm pleased to report that hospitalizations decreased over the last week including patients in ICU with COVID … It looks like the peak in hospitalizations was April 26, around two weeks ago."

Seventy COVID-19 deaths were added last week, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said.

Both Copping and Hinshaw repeated the importance of vaccines to reduce severe outcomes.

In the last four months, Hinshaw said, people aged 60 to 79 with no vaccines were 17 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people who have three doses, according to data. And, Albertans with no vaccines were 25 times more likely to be admitted to the ICU with COVID-19 compared to people with three doses in the same period.

"These severe outcomes show us this virus continues to be a significant risk to many in our province, especially those who have not yet been vaccinated or have not received all the doses they're eligible for," Hinshaw said.

Alberta will report its latest COVID-19 data next week.