COVID-19: Alberta sees 73 more hospital admissions, 40 in Edmonton

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COVID-19 hospital admissions are rising in Alberta, and the Edmonton area is seeing most of the recent increase.

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On Tuesday, Alberta reported 708 patients in the hospital with the disease – 73 more than the day before, and 40 of them were identified in the Edmonton zone.

There are 237 COVID-19 patients in hospitals in the Edmonton zone and 287 in the Calgary zone, who have experienced 25 new admissions since Monday.

Of those hospitalized with the disease, Alberta identified 80 in the intensive care unit, eight more than reported yesterday, while eight more people infected with COVID-19 died in Alberta, raising the province’s death toll to 3,352.

The province also identified 4,704 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the number of active cases to 58,613. The number of new cases reported on Tuesday is lower than what Alberta has seen over the past few days , but the province has recently made changes to the eligibility for PCR testing.

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At a press conference on Monday, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer, states that PCR testing will be restricted to those at risk of serious outbreaks if they become infected, as well as eligible Albertans living and working in high-risk environments – such as healthcare professionals and and those is employed in continuing care, shelters and penitentiary facilities – or meets other qualification criteria .

The highly transmissible Omicron variant, which causes COVID-19 and is spreading throughout Alberta, has increased the demand for PCR testing beyond the province’s capacity, Hinshaw said Monday, adding that those with symptoms should isolate themselves for five days if they have been fully vaccinated or until symptoms subside. which ever takes longer. According to provincial isolation and quarantine requirements , those who are not fully vaccinated should follow the same rules, but for 10 days instead of five.

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Dec. 23 Hinshaw recommended Albertan’s reserve PCR test for high-risk cases , as well as those who are unable to obtain a rapid test. However, under the new rules, the inability to obtain rapid tests no longer qualifies a person for a PCR test, even if Quick tests have been hard to find in Alberta lately.

“You can take a quick test if you have one, but for most people with mild illness, a test is not necessary and symptoms can be managed at home,” Hinshaw said Monday.

As of Monday, Alberta has administered more than 7.9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with 79.7 percent of the population receiving at least one dose and 73.2 percent receiving two doses.

Hinshaw also said that on January 3, more than a million Albertans rolled up their sleeves for booster shots.

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“More than a million people are committed to helping each other and getting to the other side of this pandemic,” she said. “I’m encouraged to see so many Albertans do the right thing.”

Hinshaw also said booster shots are a critical part of the province’s efforts to prevent hospitals and intensive care units from being overwhelmed with new cases of COVID-19, especially with the rapid rise in cases caused by the Omicron variant.

“Even though only one percent of cases are in the hospital, it is still a huge burden on our healthcare system,” Hinshaw added. “That kind of increase has the potential to overwhelm our healthcare facilities, not to mention the healthcare providers who have been working tirelessly and non-stop for almost two years.”

hissawi@postmedia.com

@hamdiissawi

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